NEW YORK (CNS) — It has taken more than half a century, but at long last “Mary Poppins Returns” (Disney). The result is a delightful sequel to the 1964 classic that will divert all but the youngest and most skittish members of the family.
Flashing forward some two decades or so from the Edwardian time period of the original, the follow up finds omnicompetent (and unaged) nanny Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) swooping into Depression-era London to help Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) Banks — the now-grown siblings she tended as children — face a family crisis.
Michael is a recent widower whose three children, Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson), need more methodical care than that provided by their well-meaning but overtaxed housekeeper, Ellen (Julie Walters). And single Jane will require a nudge to end up in the arms of local lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), as she is clearly destined to do.
There’s also a financial threat looming over the household since seemingly friendly banker William Weatherall Wilkins (Colin Firth) is actually scheming to foreclose on the mortgage. To forestall this disaster, Michael will have to find the certificate showing that his father had a sizable number of shares in the bank — a cache worth more than the debt.
Sprightly set-piece musical numbers — composer Marc Shaiman collaborated on the lyrics with Scott Wittman — the main character’s engaging blend of common sense and whimsical magic and brief but thoroughly entertaining turns by Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke make director Rob Marshall’s loose adaptation of material from books by P.L. Travers a first-class treat.
Moments of jeopardy and one verse of a music hall-style song describing how a wealthy lady disguises the fact that she’s rich by imitating Eve’s minimalist fig-leaf wardrobe are as close as the movie comes to anything worrisome for parents. Otherwise, David Magee’s script is squeaky clean.
No spoonful of sugar is needed to make this tasty confection go down, whether at holiday time or during the post-New Year’s lull that generally follows.
The film contains characters in peril and brief, extremely mild risque humor. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: WWI’s flower of youth comes alive in ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’
NEXT: Religion historian appreciated Colorado Cistercians after tragedy struck
Share this story