Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (8)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (1)
If you're a fan of the big band sound (which I'm not) you will probably like this pic much better than I did.
A strange look at the music business.
Unfortunately, while Jimmy Stewart provides yet another winning performance as the seminal big band leader, the film is an unsatisfying hybrid.
Featuring a towering performance from Jimmy Stewart as America's most popular band leader, Anthony Mann's intelligent if also sentimental film is one of the most enjoyable Hollywood biopics.
Miller's great music is THE thing in this romanticized bio of the band leader.
Spoiler alert: Glenn Miller was shot down while serving for the U.S. military during World War 2. That's right, fighting Adolf Hitler. A very popular musician killed while fighting the Antichrist. So this film is less historical, more of a memorial. Some parts are downright sanctimonious, cleaned and sanitized and ironed and starched past all recognition of real life and done, mind you, for your protection in that Hollywood way (lest dat jive starta discombobulate ya). The story could be easily dismissed as bad high school quality theater, despite the talent in front of you. But then they play the music, and the sense of the times and the people who lived them comes rushing to the fore, a palpable force. "The music will live forever" is said at the end, and that part they got right.
This is the second of three movies that Stewart and Allyson worked together that I have seen. They really do work well together in that clean, golly gee, kinda way. The actors are great, the music is excellent, and the story is ok; although not historically accurate. It's all about the great music.
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