Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (29)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (18)
The film builds up to something that never comes.
Rice does a fine job of juggling so many characters and moving smoothly among flashbacks without losing sight of the main story.
What it doesn't have is drama or wisdom or comedy or heat, something to temper the banalities.
Not to say it isn't an enjoyable diversion. Just that it's also a superficial one.
The glossy appearance and trappings may evoke standard Anglophile nostalgia, but below the veneer is a cynical portrait of bored, shallow Britons halfheartedly going through the motions of a celebration.
The dominance of the madcap side of the film's split personality lays an airy veneer over Dolly and Joseph's woes, making them seem inconsequential - as unsubstantial as an observation about wedding-day weather.
The movie builds with a tragic eloquence that's haunting while at the same time delivering a justifiably tear-filled coda that had me smiling in hopeful exuberance.
The film may help Downton Abbey fanatics looking to kill a little time in that era but holds little cinematic appeal for the rest of us.
..this costume drama set in the lull between World Wars is drawn from Julia Strachey's 1932 novella (apparently much-loved by Virginia Woolf) and proves to be almost impossibly English.
With the critical narrative information delayed until the film's final moments, it's a waiting game for the audience, not unpleasurably spent watching the gorgeous costumes and eccentric behaviour of the family and friends of an anxious bride.
If you're seriously white-knuckling for a dose of English Period Countryside Romanticism while waiting for Downton's next season to roll, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding will be like methadone: it's not going to satisfy you, but it may relieve your itch.
Period drama has simmering conflict, lacks resolution.
Despite it's shortcomings, the chemistry is so strong between Felicity Jones and Luke Treadaway, that even though they spend a majority of the film apart, the connection between them carries the film. Felicity is gorgeous as always, performing in such a lyrical beauty that radiates through her lack of dialogue. She is the star and even though most of her actions are mirrored off of the rest of her family, she still shines. Treadaway also mostly uses his expressions to portray his character and the highlight of the film is a moment where he kindly dances with Jones' younger sister, gazing at Felicity the entire time. No words are spoken, but the emotion is strong. Apart from these performances, "Cheerful Weather for the Wedding" is an average dramatic comedy, with a dry, British humor and a lack of ingenuity. Had the director pushed nuanced feel, the film could have been so much more impacting. Instead it relies too heavily on its bright cast and too list on its substance and direction.
Slow and without heart.
In 1932, Dolly(Felicity Jones) begins her wedding day by praying to the porcelain gods, followed by finding the exact wrong time to get reacquainted with her Tolstoy. Meanwhile, downstairs, her sister Kitty(Ellie Kendrick) and Evelyn(Zoe Tapper) find little to do except to comment on the appearance of Dr. Joseph Patten(Luke Treadaway) who was last heard of in Greece and was not expected for the ceremony, least of all by Dolly's mother(Elizabeth McGovern). Then, Owen(James Norton), the groom, puts in an appearance to find out where the ring is.
Aided by exquisitely serene performances from its leads, "Cheerful Weather for the Wedding" is a witty and bittersweet look at the intersection of family and marriage which shows how hard it is to get through a wedding entirely sober.(The old line being that it is 5 pm somewhere.) As such, the important details lie just below the surface, as bombshells, both literal and metaphorical, are dropped on this most important of days. With a respect and subtle critiquing of this time's traditions, the movie makes multiple uses of time, not only in how it moves too quickly and too slowly for some characters but by going back to happier times and better weather.
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