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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

The author of MARY POPPINS P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) reluctantly makes the trip to Los Angeles where Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) is determined to obtain the rights to make her book into a film. But the obstinate writer makes a formidable opponent to the persistent Disney, making demands that border on the unreasonable. The behind the scenes drama behind the making of a film, especially a classic like MARY POPPINS, can be fascinating especially for the film buff. In that respect, SAVING MR. BANKS is a success. Still, this is a Disney production so I wouldn't give the movie much credibility in its representation of the actual facts. Travers is portrayed as a rather dour, unhappy woman till she's Disneyfied by the film's end. Her reactions during the film's premiere ring false. The film is encumbered with lots of flashbacks to Travers' childhood, taking us away from what we really want to see. The backstory would have been better served if it had been told or recalled rather than interrupting the main story regularly. At the film's core, Thompson is marvelous! In fact, the entire film is well acted but the film belongs to Thompson. Directed by John Lee Hancock (THE BLIND SIDE). With Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, Kathy Baker, Rachel Griffiths, Melanie Paxson, Annie Rose Buckley and Ruth Wilson, who gives a fine understated performance as Travers' mother.

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