Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks – review

The comedic drama Saving Mr. Banks tells the story of the creation of the Disney film Mary Poppins.  The complicated struggle to get the film rights from the very uptight P.L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson, is portrayed well against a 1960s backdrop.  Between the development scenes are flash backs to Travers childhood where she developed the characters of Mr. Banks and Mary Poppins respectively.  The acting is fantastic and the story is compelling to say the least.

P.L. Travers is hesitant about selling the rights of her book Mary Poppins to Walt Disney, played by Tom Hanks, so it can be made into a film.  They bring her to Southern California and soon she is contrary about every decision attempted towards making the film.  The struggles she faced as a child were shown through flash backs of her as little girl with her father, played by Colin Ferrell.  Through the movie we come to find out how she and Walt Disney came to an understanding to make the movie a reality.

Tom Hanks seems to really channel the spirit of Walt Disney.  He has many of the mannerisms of the man he is portraying and it is really fun to watch.  Emma Thompson is great as the uptight P.L. Travers.  Her path as a redeemable character makes for wonderful drama as we watch her grow and heal.  Colin Farrell shows a wide range of talent amongst this cast of heavy weights.  No one phones it in for the roles they are playing and it shows.

The story is dark and depressing at times but also uplifting as well.   Saving Mr. Banks is great vision of the challenges that come with seeing a movie come to life.  It does not hold back in the dirty aspects but you can tell that the relationship between Travers and Disney was rocky at the best of times.  Disney is not portrayed as some business mogul with dollar signs in his eyes but very human which is an entertaining take on him.

The movie is entertaining and certainly worth seeing. If you’ve seen Mary Poppins you’ll enjoy it a bit more as you will likely understand more of the in-jokes.  However, you will still run the gamut of emotions even if you have not seen Mary Poppins.  I recommend seeing it if you get a chance. You will enjoy it and will certainly enjoy the refreshing acting and story. 

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