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Archive for December 24th, 2018

by Sam Juliano

This week’s installment of the Monday Morning Diary falls squarely on Christmas Eve 2018.  I’d like to wish all our friends and readers a peaceful evening and a Merry Christmas.  I’ll save next week to extend New Year’s greetings especially since we have a week ahead that is sure to bring much joy to everyone.  It always seems that time is rushing by, so now more than ever is the need to savor every precious moment with our loved ones.

Allan, dear friend, I know you are up there smiling and sending us your best.  We will spend much of our holiday thinking of you wearing that grumpy Santa Claus outfit.  Love you.

I want to thank all who have continued the tradition at the site with a particular salute to my co-editor James Clark who has given film scholarship continued brilliance and to our ace film reviewer J.D. Lafrance.  Also best wishes to Jamie Uhler, who coordinates the annual Allan Fish Online Film Festival in May and the yearly Halloween Fest and all those who comment and contribute mightily to our countdowns.

Though the wholly enchanting “Mary Poppins Returns” received mostly excellent reviews as did the film’s titular star Emily Blunt, what surprised me most was the terrific score by Marc Shaiman which is anything but unmemorable. “Nowhere to Go But Up,” “A Conversation,” “Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” “Underneath the Lonely London Sky,” “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” and “Can You Imagine That?” lead a spirited, lyrically accomplished array of songs that make this homage to one of the screen’s most beloved musicals in its own right an effervescent confection that also forges its own path. Splendid cameo numbers from Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury and Meryl Streep add to the unbridled merriment.

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