Mary Poppins Returns
The magical nanny (Emily Blunt, superb) returns to 17 Cherry Tree Lane, where Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw), now grown and widowed with kids of his own (Pixie Davis, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson), is about to lose the family home to foreclosure. Directed by Rob Marshall, who co-wrote with David Magee and John DeLuca (inspired by P.L. Travers’ stories), this sequel has been 54 years coming—and it’s worth every day of the wait. Marshall hews close to the original in style and structure, and the charming songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman almost match the brilliance of Robert and Richard Sherman’s original score. Emily Mortimer co-stars as sister Jane, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury in loving support. Sure to charm all but the most churlish cynic, it is, like Mary Poppins herself, practically perfect in every way.