Mary Poppins Returns ★★★★★

This movie is flawed in so many ways. There's a sequence that was clearly only inserted into the film as a way to get a certain actor into the movie. The drama of the climax is undercut by a crazy obvious solution that should have been everybody's first thought. The very first accent/voice you hear in the movie, although purposeful (I know, I know, Dick Van Dyke did it) does NOT inspire confidence.

All of that said, this is currently my favorite movie of the year.

I don't know what to say. There's no other movie that has swept me up in a pure sense of wonder and joy like this movie did. The animation, the musical sequences, the dancing, the pure exuberance that is flying off the screen, it brought me to tears. Next to my coworkers. I held myself back from clapping after four different musical sequences in some strange basement theater of the Disney Studios. I don't want to spoil any of the specifics behind the things I loved, but all four of those sequences are so different from each other and still so perfect.

Even for those of you who don't like Lin-Manuel Miranda, there's something so (eventually) affable and charming about his character, culminating in two separate moments where you go "oh god... are they really about to do X" and then they do X and X fucking WORKS! I'm disappointed in the lack of a Julie Andrews cameo, but delighted about the silent addition of a cameo near the end (although initially confused, because I couldn't remember if that person was even in the original movie. And then I looked it up, and they weren't. Strange! Wonderful!)

(I can already foresee all your Paddington 2/I, Tonya comments coming in, so I'll just say: YES I liked it more than P2. I recognize that's as close to an "objectively wrong" opinion as I could have, but something in this movie grabbed my heart more than Paddington 2 (a perfect movie) did. I can't and won't compare this to I, Tonya and you're a monster to even ask me to.)

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