The Land of Steady Habits and Mary Poppins Returns: Two Terrible Movies

Oh, boy. I have to take a pill. Just sat through The Land of Steady Habits and Mary Poppins Returns. Two terrible movies about upper middle-class white men who can’t keep their paperwork straight and can’t pay their mortgages but whose real estate is rescued at the last minute by a deus ex machina.

No, seriously, it’s the same movie. One is a machine-tooled case-hardened  Whimsy™ delivery system, engineered to provide maximum return to shareholders with minimum risk, the other is a sloppy, badly acted, badly written, banal bag of boring. In fact, Ben Mendelsohn is so incredibly bad that, though I have been long reconciled to my acting career never having taken off, now I’m bitter because I’m so much better than him.

Ben Mendelsohn does a thing with his mouth… He is so determined not to be too expressive (because, you know, the camera is right there) that I think he had his mouth botoxed. It is eerily inexpressive. I mean, try to talk without any mouth tension. It’s hard! He manages. It’s like he’s some kind of CGI doll. He’s a live, human actor, but he’s in the uncanny valley.

And poor Lin-Manuel Miranda. He must have dimple cramps. To be fair to him, there was no character written, he’s just a walking wink, so I can hardly blame him for the non-performance.

And the idea of making the banker the villain, in a weirdly Great Recession of 2008 plot where they profit from foreclosures, is so completely and purely cynical on Disney’s part… If corporations are legal persons, this movie was written, scored, shot and acted by one.

Don’t worry about my sharing these DVDs. I shredded them.