THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
Ahelps the medicine go down, but it takes something stronger to warm the chill during these long winter months. Cue Mary Poppins, who reappears from the clouds 54 years after she first dropped in on the Banks’ to teach them the value of fun, family and not taking life so seriously. The problem in Mary Poppins Returns is that life has grown serious for the now adult Banks children – in particular Michael, who’s in danger of losing his family home. Poppins (Emily Blunt) delivers sage advice, songs and a dose of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious magic while Meryl Streep, 69, arrives as her oddball cousin, Topsy, and Angela Lansbury, 93, Julie Walters, 68, and Colin Firth, 58, costar. Dick Van Dyke, who donned makeup to play elderly bank director Mr. Dawes Sr. in the original film (he also starred as Bert, the chimney sweep) appears as that character’s son Mr. Dawes Jr. here. The movie affords Van Dyke, the only star from the original to return, a chance to showcase his impressive dancing chops ahead of his 93rd birthday in December.
Meanwhile, Olivia Coleman, 44, who’ll play Queen Elizabeth II in Season 3 of The Crown, hones her royal etiquette as England’s Queen Anne in The Favourite, about the 18th-century rivalry between the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz, 48) and her younger cousin, Abigail Masham, for Her Highness’s favour. But where would we be without such royal rumbles among courtiers? After all, we need ongoing plotlines for future seasons of The Crown. —MC