Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1964. Walt Disney Productions. Screenplay by Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi, based on the books by P.L. Travers. Cinematography by Edward Colman. Produced by Walt Disney. Music by Irwin Kostal. Production Design by Carroll Clark, William H. Tuntke. Costume Design by Bill Thomas, Tony Walton. Film Editing by Cotton Warburton.
After so many years, this film hasn’t aged a day: whether you’re a young tot or a full-grown adult it still retains its fresh charm and lively vigour. Julie Andrews is brilliant as the magical nanny who lives on a cloud and comes down to earth to be a guardian for children with family troubles. The family in this particular case is the Bankses, a British clan with an emotionally absent banker father (David Tomlinson), a suffrage-obsessed mother (Glynis Johns) and two bratty children who keep driving all their governesses away. In comes Poppins with her magical abilities and rare beauty to teach them a thing or two about life, along the way taking them on strange adventures and sings a bevy of delightful songs. Unfortunately, the film also centres around a politically contentious message, one that points out that the children’s mother is out fighting for female voting privileges when she should be at home tending to her children (something I’m sure that “family values” advocates were more than happy to wag at women in the sixties). That said, it’s still a milestone family film that you can’t help but enjoy, particularly considering how good Andrews is in her film debut.
Academy Awards: Best Actress (Julie Andrews); Best Special Visual Effects; Best Film Editing; Best Music Score-Substantially Original; Best Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Director (Robert Stevenson); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography-Colour; Best Art Direction-Colour; Best Costume Design-Colour; Best Sound; Best Scoring of Music-Adaptation or Treatment
Golden Globe Award: Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Julie Andrews)
Nominations: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Dick Van Dyke); Best Original Score