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terça-feira, 22 de dezembro de 2015

Mary Poppins, review: 'the songs are classics'

Disney's Mary Poppins, starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews, became a classic despite the author's disapproval
Mary Poppins (1964) was directed by Robert Stevenson and stars Julie Andrews, David Tomlinson, Dick Van DykeElsa Lanchester, Hermione Baddeley and Glynis Johns. Certificate U; running time: 139 minutes.
"I'm world famous for my Cockney accent," joked Malibu-born actor and singer Dick Van Dyke in 2013.
The American's truly execreble attempt at a 'true' Londoner's voice somehow makes Mary Poppins curiously enjoyable to watch for the modern viewer, five decades after it won five of the 13  Oscars for which it was nominated.
It took  Disney nearly 20 years to persuade reluctant author Pamela Lyndon Travers to relinquish the rights to the books she had first published in 1934. The fall-out from that eventual agreement formed the basis of the 2014 film Saving Mr Banks.
Practically perfect in every way: Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins
Practically perfect in every way: Julie Andrews as Mary PoppinsCredit: Disney
To say that the Australian-British novelist was upset with the final film would be an understatement. She needed more than a spoonful of sugar to swallow the disappointment of what Disney had done to her characters.
"Mary Poppins was beloved for what she was – plain, vain and incorruptible – and now she is transmogrified into a soubrette. And how was it that Mary Poppins herself, the image of propriety, came to dance a can-can on the roof-top displaying all her underwear? A child wrote, after seeing the film, ‘I think Mary Poppins behaved in a very indecorous manner.’ Indecorous indeed."
The can-canning and coquettish Julie Andrews won an Oscar for Best Actress for her display.
"Indecorous": PL Travers was disappointed by Julie Andrews's characterisation
"Indecorous": PL Travers was disappointed by Julie Andrews's characterisationCredit: Disney
PL Travers wept at the premiere and said her character had been betrayed. Disney had created a vaudeville maid, of course, not the darker and more mysterious one from the novel, for whom magic had a shadowy side.
In the film, banker George Banks's search for a no-nonsense nanny to take care of his two naughty children is solved when Mary Poppins and her magic umbrella glide into their lives. Van Dyke's energy is prodigious (especially when he leaps around with a gang of sooty chimney-sweeps on the London rooftops) and the songs are classics. Even those who have never seen the film could probably sing along to Chim Chim Cheree, A Spoonful of Sugar, Let's Go Fly a Kite and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Travers softened a smidgen in later years, saying before her death in 1996 at the age of 96 that it was "glamorous" and she had "learned to live with it".
The endearing appeal of the film was highlighted in December 2014, when the Edwardian-style multicoloured jacket worn by Van Dyke in the film was sold to a private collector for £40,000

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