Saving Mr. Banks – 125 min, Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some unsettling images
This is the true story of how Walt Disney tried to persuade P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, to give him the film rights. As she meets with Disney and his script writers, she reflects on her childhood and we find out what her beloved book really means to her.
You would think that Saving Mr. Banks would be a feel good movie but I found it to be more depressing then uplifting. The story reflects on the early life of P.L. Travers, Emma Thompson (Nanny McPhee, Men in Black 3), and the relationship with her father, Colin Farrell (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths). Despite myself finding it to be a bit of a downer, I enjoyed the movie thoroughly.
Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks (as Walt Disney) gave wonderful performances but Thompson overshadows him. Thompson made me dislike and sympathize for Travers simultaneously. Emma is a fine actress but has been under the radar for the past decade in my opinion. I wish she would take on more roles like these instead of a supporting character like most of her films. She was the best part about the film and worth seeing it for her performance as a PL Travers. It would also be nice to see a Walt Disney biopic with Tom Hanks once again as Walt. He did a fine job but there wasn’t enough of him in the film.
The director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) does a great job distinguishing the two time eras, the early 1900’s and the 1960’s. There are a lot of great sequences where it cuts back and forth between the eras giving some of the most memorable moments of the film. Colin Farrell (Total Recall, Horrible Bosses) played Travers’ father and was able to keep the movie together by take the lead in the early time era. Great casting was done because the movie could have easily fallen apart if one of the parts didn’t work. Luckily that wasn’t the case.
Saving Mr. Banks was full of laughter, joy and sadness. It was finally good to see a movie with Walt Disney in it but there just wasn’t enough of him. The film has wonderful casting all around including all of its supporting characters. It is definitely a film to check out.
3.5/5 - A strong effort.