Title: Saving Mr. Banks
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Colin Farrell, Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson
Runtime: 2 hrs
What It Is
The great Walt Disney (Hanks) is apparently a man whom always fulfills a promise to his daughters. This particular promise, one to bring a big screen adaptation of their favorite book “Mary Poppins” has been a twenty-year odyssey for Mr. Disney. One big problem they've never been able to get over is that the author P.L Travers (Thompson) is a blowhard Englishwoman who wants nothing to do with Disney and his “nonsense”. One major problem for Mrs. Travers (don’t dare call her Pamela!) is that her royalties are running quite slim nowadays steal so she could definitely use the check! She decides to go out to California (which, by the way, she hates!) It is here our journey truly begins.
What We Think
This is a great film, and by no means was I upset by the performances by two very fine actors in Hanks and Thompson…however it is 'Colin steals the show' in the film's subplot of explaining the origins of the titular character, Mr. Banks. His true love of his family, and his struggle with the demons he dealt with. It has everything a good film should: laughter, drama, sorrow, music, and most importantly, a great story.
B+, The subplot to me was one of the most interesting things. Hancock lets it all play out it a tight piece that doesn’t need many directions with a cast like this. Not the A film we are used to seeing from Tom, perhaps this little film should have been Saving Mr. Hanks, because often it felt unfeeling from the normally stellar Hanks, but even his somewhat phoned-in performances trumps most other actors'. Anyone who wants a family friendly period piece full of joy can’t miss here, but as a piece of cinematic art, it’s slightly below the other films currently burning bulbs in a theater near you!