Thursday, 21 March 2019

Sequel’s well worth a mere 54-year wait

Sequel’s well worth a mere 54-year wait

THE highly anticipated sequel to the Disney classic, Mary Poppins Returns is set in the Depression-era in London, 25 years on from the original.

The Banks children, Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael (Ben Whishaw), have grown up, and Michael has children of his own. 

Grieving from a personal loss, the Banks family are astonished to find that Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) has returned to guide them through the tragedy.

With help from Jack the lamplighter (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Mary Poppins’s quirky cousin Topsy (Meryl Streep) and some colourful animated penguins, Mary Poppins intends to inject some whimsical wonder back into their lives.

The accompanying cast is jam-packed with stellar performers, including Julie Walters as Ellen the housekeeper, Colin Firth as William “Weatherall” Wilkins and Angela Lansbury as the Balloon Lady.

The film most notably sees Dick Van Dyke return as Mr Dawes Jr, having played both Bert the chimney sweep and Mr Dawes Sr in the 1964 original starring Julie Andrews.

Andrews’s successor as Mary Poppins has a number of iconic title roles of her own to her name, most notably Queen Victoria in 2009’s The Young Victoria and Rachel Watson in 2016’s The Girl on the Train.

The latter film saw her nominated for the BAFTA award for best actress in a leading role and the Screen Actors Guild equivalent.

The year before, the New York Post had praised her lead performance in Mexican drug wars thriller Sicario as “Oscar-worthy”.

Mary Poppins Returns is directed by Academy Award-nominee Rob Marshall and written by Satellite Award-winning David Magee, with the story by Marshall, Magee and John DeLuca. Like the original film, Mary Poppins Returns is based on the long-running children’s book series by PL Travers. 

The score of the film was composed by Marc Shaiman, and the songs were also written by Shaiman, with lyrics by Scott Wittman. The score also contains nods to songs from the first film, including A Spoonful of Sugar and The Perfect Nanny.

Mary Poppins Returns is a vibrant musical adventure, with something for the whole family to enjoy — themes of family, loss and moving on with life, combined with wonder, joy and light-hearted fun. 

The film is now showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse cinema.

Elizabeth Duncan

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