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Though not a Christmas movie per se, "Mary Poppins" shows up on TV schedules often enough at this time of year that it's come to be an unofficial seasonal staple -- and with "Saving Mr. Banks" now in theaters, more people than usual will be giving it another spin over the holidays. But does it merits its classic status? I'm firmly in the "yes" camp, but Kyle Buchanan is less convinced: "'The Sound of Music' is sturdily structured and well-cast down to its smallest roles; rewatching it now, there's really not a superfluous scene. Not so much with Mary Poppins, y'all ... The good parts are just as good as you remember — it's just that they've been overrun by so many boring parts that it's shocking. For every spoonful of sugar that Mary Poppins offers, there are two more spoons of medicine you've got to take first." Bah, humbug. [Vulture]
Christine Smallwood on why "Her" is something more complicated and unsettling than a love story. [New Yorker]
Playwrights from Tracy Letts to Aaron Sorkin to Neil LaBute talk about the process of adapting their work for the screen. [New York Times]
Amanda Dobbins weighs up the year in actor/director reunions, from McQueen/Fassbender to, well, Scott/Fassbender. [Vulture]
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