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Film Review: Mary Poppins Returns

There is an excellent fake trailer for the original Mary Poppins which teases it as a horror film – and it works because Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins is, among other qualities, terrifying. She has psychokinetic powers, she apparently controls the winds to ruthlessly blow away the nanny competition, she has a tricky doppelganger in the mirror – she is jealous, vain, and seemingly capable of anything. While she chooses to use her powers to help the Banks children, one feels that at any moment she could change her mind with the winds. There is tension in every moment on screen between the sweetness of Julie Andrews and the impish powers of her character -- between the beauty of her singing voice and the utter strangeness of the lyrics. As a result, the performance is electric – and deservedly Oscar-winning.

Julie Andrews, always the Dame, graciously refused the offered cameo in Mary Poppins Returns in order to allow Emily Blunt to shine on her own. And Blunt does shine – she’s great fun,…

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