By Nick Romano
November 30, 2018 at 09:51 AM EST
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According to one critic, “the Oscar race just got a BIG shake-up.”

Buzz for Mary Poppins Returns, Disney’s sequel to the 1964 original, is coming in from early screenings, and awards pundits are calling star Emily Blunt “practically perfect in every way.” Of course, there are also more critical opinions, but many seem to agree Blunt “will get all the noms” for her succession to Julie Andrews’ magical nanny.

Mary Poppins Returns is a exquisitely made film with delightful music, excellent performances (especially by Emily Blunt) & contagious optimism,” io9’s Germain Lussier wrote on Twitter. “And yet…it felt SO similar to the original. New songs, better technology, same story & themes. I definitely recommend it though.”

IndieWire’s Kate Erbland and ComingSoon’s Jenna Bush confirmed tissues are a must when seeing this film, and Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley called it “a story that is undeniably familiar yet miraculously brand new.”

For the contrarian takes, Cosmopolitan contributor Yolanda Machado called the music “so-so” and /Film’s Peter Sciretta called the film “paint by numbers.”

In Mary Poppins Returns, directed by Rob Marshall, the titular nanny descends from the clouds to help the next generation of Banks children after the family suffers a personal loss. Blunt is joined by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, and a special appearance from original Mary Poppins star Dick Van Dyke.

Again, the reactions aren’t full-fledged reviews, but merely early rumblings of good things to come. Still, they bode well for a film trying to get an audience to take another spoonful of sugar.

Mary Poppins Returns opens in theaters on Dec. 19.

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