Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (10)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (1)
There's wicked fun in watching the wealthy sweat the small stuff, but this documentary has empathy for parents of all incomes.
It's difficult to get too worked up as they fret about their Jacksons and Julianas in dining rooms big enough to land a helicopter in. Nor is the film helpful as an insider's guide.
In their zippy, informative, ultimately horrifying documentary, directors Marc H. Simon and Matthew Makar put a face on the statistics about (mostly) moneyed parents competing to get their kids one of the few treasured spots in elite Manhattan preschools.
If you thrill to the sight of a preschool teacher bringing an investment banker to his knees, then Nursery University is for you.
Despite its behind-the-scenes peeks, the film would have benefited from a deeper examination of how these institutions prosper from parental paranoia run amok.
It certainly provides thorough, balanced, often playful evidence of the perverted educational ecosystem that has sprung up to support the toppling egos of Manhattan's upper-crust parents.
A riveting expose' of what looks an awful lot like child abuse in the name of quality education. What's next, an SAT test for newborns?
Largely coasts on shots of kids being adorable and parents behaving badly, but the film occasionally, if somewhat accidentally, proves illuminating.
Watching success-crazed NYC parents in a frenzy to place their toddlers in swank preschools that 'feed' the little darlings into the Ivy League is compelling and scary--like swimming with sharks.
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