Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Giamatti, Rachel Griffiths
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Synopsis: Disney’s attempt to fellate themselves with an autobiographical account of the making of the classic Mary Poppins, specifically focused on the reluctance of author, P.L. Travers (Thompson) and Walt Disney’s (Hanks) fight to get the beloved movie made.
What work(s): I really did not want to see this film. It was basically the only film my wife and I had time for to stream on Amazon. This film is a no-brainer, in that you don’t have to think too much on it and that it’s going to be a decently-done enough to at least not hate it. Hanks, Thompson and company do a fantastic job as usual in the acting department. The music, writing and cinematography are all made professionally and the film is in focus. There’s really nothing to say negatively about the film—or at the very least, worth my time talking in length about.
The real stand-outs in the film are the musical brothers, Robert & Richard Sherman played by Novak and Schwartzman respectively. They were the only ones who were entertaining and memorable.
What fail(s): See above. But to elaborate further I will say that it is too long; the flashback scenes could’ve been trimmed or deleted entirely. They are way too boring and sappy for the rest of the film. The film on a whole is predictable and hackneyed. You know what’s going to happen and if not for the high caliber actors this would be on ABC Family or Lifetime.
Overall: This is just another bio-pic style feature about an artist or author in the vein of Finding Neverland or Shakespeare in Love. Whimsical, melodramatic, charming and ultimately amounting to very little. Most bio-pics are now so trite and boring and filled with too many artistic licenses with actual truth that it’s better to just read a well done biography instead. I never knew nor cared that Mary Poppins was a book before the movie. Most people probably didn’t realize that either. But if you love golden age Disney, Tom Hanks and a very bitter and bitchy Emma Thompson, then this film is for you.
Score: 4.5 Supercalifragilisticexpialidociouses (out of 10)