Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Meryl Streep, opens December 19 and is expected to be a holiday season blockbuster with awards potential. I’ve never seen the original. I mean, I know about Mary Poppins because I live in the world and am familiar with most of the music, but I have no strong connection to the Julie Andrews version so my attitude about this new one has been more like, yeah, I’ll see it out of obligation but I’m not really that excited. Until now.
Emily covers the December issue of Vogue (and PS. Anna Wintour is still the head of Vogue so, really, that rumour went totally f-cking nowhere) and is joined by LMM inside the magazine and for the article. This is not an article that reads like a standard celebrity profile for movie promotion. This is an article that’s a movie work profile. It’s a Show Your Work piece – not just Emily’s work, but Lin’s work, director Rob Marshall’s work, and the composers’, Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman, work too. Duana’s going to love that Hamilton comes up, of course, and in the most work way possible: LMM reveals the connection between King George’s song (“You’ll Be Back”) and “A Spoonful of Sugar”, that one of the notes is a nod to the Sherman brothers who wrote the music for the 1964 film. I love that one of my favourite movies of all-time comes up and was the inspiration for Emily’s interpretation of the title character. If you’ve been reading this site over the last decade, you know I namecheck the Howard Hawks classic, His Girl Friday, at least once a year. This is a film, released in 1940, that is about a woman who is GREAT at her job. Hildy Johnson, played by Rosalind Russell, is GREAT at her job. Mary Poppins is GREAT at her job. And that’s how Emily, as Mary Poppins speaks – like Hildy with her “rat-a-tat speech cadences” mixed in with some of Princess Margaret’s 1930s locutions thrown in.
But you can’t build a character like that or, more specifically, put your own signature on a character like that without preparation, without the time to prepare. Emily asked Rob Marshall to give her more time to study, to create her own Mary Poppins signature. She used the extra months not only to fully absorb the source material but also, as we know now, to understand the era, to find inspiration, to pick and choose from all that inspiration the small but significant pieces that, when threaded together and reprocessed through Emily’s own individuality, become something new and fresh. THIS is what’s turned my sense of obligation about seeing the movie into eager anticipation. I can’t wait.
That’s not all though. There’s so much work here in the styling in this photo shoot. Emily is, no doubt, styled in character. But these are not costumes from the movie – they’re clothes, clothes from current collections that work in 2018 and that also work, when pulled together in the right away, for an iconic fictional character set in the 1930s. The attention to detail is SO impressive. See the pictures, shot by Annie Leibovitz, here and read the full article here.
And now I’ve just realised… there was Show Your Work in "A Spoonful of Sugar" all along:
In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap -
The job's a game!
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,