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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Movie Musical Challenge: Mary Poppins

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In Movie Musical Challenge, I'm watching all 25 picks for AFI's greatest musicals starting from the bottom.  Number 6 is the 1964 magical musical Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

So many reasons to love this film.  For me, there are lots of sentimental ones of course, but objectively how can anyone not like this magical movie?  It's full of joy and heart and whimsical, clever songs.  Julie Andrews is utterly bewitching (and practically perfect) and even if people have a few disparaging words for Dick Van Dyke's accent, he's perfect as Bert - so charming, funny, relatable and kind.

Rewatching this film, I have a new appreciation for the children too - how wonderful are they in this film?  They are too cute, and mischievous and self-interested and so believable.

The reason that Mary Poppins is a film that resonates is that beneath the fantasy trappings, and the whimsical humor, the story is driven by the need for Mary Poppins to fix this family.  And there's such utter satisfaction and heart-warming joy in seeing how it all unfolds, even with the melancholic tinge of Mary leaving when her work is done.  I'm also a little obsessed with the dynamic between Mary and Bert which is so full of understanding as to be romantic, but they seem just the best of friends.  I'm glad there is ambiguity to it, because it makes their interactions all the more interesting.

As for my favorite scene - I really do love everything about this movie, but the scene that fills me with joy every single time is Jolly Holiday.  You guys, I love it so much!!  The song is just glorious, and the romp through an idyllic English countryside is everything I want my life to be!  Hmm, I wonder if this film had an bigger influence on me than I thought, as I am now always happy to go visit England...  I need to say though, that Feed the Birds is also a huge scene for me - the fact that it is about being kind, is so touching.  I love how it is worked into the film too - just to realize that Mary Poppins planted that song in the children's head to start a chain reaction of change in their father's life - oh my goodness.  This story is brilliant.

This film is absolutely deserving of a high position in the top 25 list, and everyone needs to have watched it.  Preferably when they were young, but it's never too late to let this magical film into your life.

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