Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (8)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (3)
Haphazardly assembled in tone, with no clear reason to include lengthy clips from Mike Nichols' "Catch-22" or Liliana Cavani's "The Skin" (among others) aside from their story-positioned relevance to the city at the time.
The doc delivers enough arresting Neapolitan moments that many viewers will consider tracking down the source material - still in print, nearly four decades after Lewis published it in 1978.
In the end, the most important point made is that postwar occupation is hard, hard work...one you hope today's stateside politicians will someday take on board.
Colorful details ... don't change the sense that "Naples '44" is essentially an abridged version of a much more detailed work. It seems less a full-fledged movie than a trailer for a book.
At first, this mosaic technique was a little distracting. But soon it started to create a hallucinatory quality that felt entirely appropriate for a city where humanity was reduced to something approaching the elemental.
The time-traveling visuals are gracefully propelled by Benedict Cumberbatch's narration of Lewis's eloquent and precise prose, with its sotto voce observations intact.
This is a film that must be seen more than once.
It bounces from one topic to the next with the carelessness of someone flipping through a book and reading from a random page.
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