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REVIEW: Saving Mr. Banks

REVIEW: Saving Mr. Banks

Who knew there was a real-life drama behind  Walt Disney’s  1964 much-beloved film “Mary Poppins”??  Who knew it was the author’s way of dealing with her own difficult childhood with a loving and charming  alcoholic dad (Colin Farrell- at the top of his game) and  depressed mom??!!

Saving the movie from going schmalz on us : Emma Thompson , who could well be up for her 5th Oscar nomination (she’s won twice)  as the prim/proper and beyond diva-difficult author P.L. Travers.  Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks plays the patient Walt Disney, who has wooed the author  for 2 decades , thanks to a promise he made to one of his daughters to bring her favorite book to the big screen.  The reluctant author worries her precious book will be trivialized on screen.

Rounding out the cast: Paul Giamatti (in his 7th movie of the year!!) as the author’s Hollywood driver-turned confidante  ,  and Bradley Cooper and Jason Schwarzman as the beleaguered Disney writers who are assigned to collaborate with the difficult British author. 

Funny and charming, you will marvel at Thompson, culminating in watching her watch her masterpiece debut on film. Plus, it’s great fun as a colorful period piece. Ironically, this one’s not for the little ones though adults will get that warm-fuzzy Disney feeling in the end. I just wonder, given the subject matter, if this film will find the audience it justly deserves.

3 stars


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