Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

savingmrbanks_2013_poster
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
  • Time: 126 min
  • Genre: Biography | Comedy | Drama
  • Director: John Lee Hancock
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman

Storyline:

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise – one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

4 reviews

  • (Rating: 4 / 5) In the wake of the triumph of “Hitchcock” (2012 biopic), adds “Saving Mr. Banks” in the ¿new ? stream of “behind the scenes” of a notorious project, considering his long-suffering gestation is murky enough to warrant its own film. In the following case, considering the “background ” that has been drawn on the protagonist, is more interesting to write a review after spilled comments of others (that includes comments of other reviews, but we refer to various places). The main “objective” attack in this movie was the lax perspective of Mrs. PL Travers, accentuating her temper on small grains of sand instead of a truly comprehensive picture. You can take the audacity to read articles about the right kind of person that was the author, and that also surely came now summarized in a newspaper by exploiting the output of “Saving Mr. Banks”

    It is a problem of biopics of recent times, which lack balance and depth. Both “jOBS” as “Diana” as “Liz & Dick” seriously suffer, like other such films as “The Fifth Estate” and “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” or even the biopic “Hitchcock”. Apparently, only “Lincoln” succeeds almost entirely, but this president is popular only in their country of origin (and receive Oscars for it, too). Here the evils of the controversial Travers (played by the great Emma Thompson) are based on all the time she complain about the things around them and absurd statements, which could well work as slightly satire about certain American customs, were it not for the film is about another matter. What Travers calls, denies and claims are placed on the same affected level of Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” where the crux of the universe is pointillism and “bossing”

    However, the film is very good. Entertaining, but if you are clever you will notice the ridiculous attitude of the “crazy” protagonist (is not Thompson’s fault). Tom Hanks is proving to be a giant (at least , you can see in the failed “Cloud Atlas” where he played many, many roles), although certainly Hanks does not have a physical / face too much like Walt Disney to make us remember. Colin Farrell in turn continues with his usual talent (which is very good). With very good performances and dialogues also in line (maybe the past side is less interesting than the Mary Poppins draft) “Saving Mr. Banks” is an excellent film despite not over tighten the screws with the real life of the author (the protagonist), instead is too pristine in that case

    (Danger: minor spoilers in this paragraph) But where the film starts to fall apart is in the outcome, when the iconic “Mary Poppins” opens. That’s where this film hit all ideas to quickly conclude . Saccharin outcrops and Mrs. Travers becomes good girl in a snap , and mourn with emotion. This not only boycotted the nature of any movie (an hour and half of picky personality, and only five minutes of redention ) , but it is too fanciful attitude to what really happened. Before, the movie worked little forceful, but from the end of “Saving Mr. Banks” just becomes indulgent and condescending, and crushes the main story leaving anecdote (this is just a letter from the film “Mary Poppins” and his influence, but the iconic film is shown only slightly and no more information and history about it, started the credits of “Saving Mr. Banks” when there might be a later development)

    “Saving Mr. Banks” is not a strict masterpiece, but it is very good at some other level. It might even have been excellent if it were not so sugary over the concluding minutes, if “Mary Poppins” theme would have been more relevant. But the main flaw is that everyone point : it is sold as a mini – biopic of PL Travers, and is very coward in a “morbid” portrait. Is she the lesbian woman who adopted a twin baby for appearance , leaving the other to their fate? (there is a tiny, very tiny reference to her adoption , which is symptomatic of the cowardice of this project) . It happens that the balance is not defined in current biopics: “The Fifth Estate” and ” jOBS” are two pieces where the protagonists are almost villains, and that made ​​them boring. PL Travers in “Saving Mr. Banks” is a stubborn woman but with a heart of gold in the ending. It is a very good film but do not expect something shady and sincere, because Mrs. Travers here is a lady who complains of nonsense while she remains in orbit, when in real life she did not reflect and did not remain in orbit

  • Saving Mr.Banks is an dimensional picture, that really pulls on the heart strings and has many stories in one film. The approach to Mary Poppins being more than a book/movie is fascinating, and takes you to love many characters, even the ones you never meet or didn’t expect to love, you connect with each one. This movie shows you a whole other scope to Mary Poppins, from a film you watched when you were a child to a perspective that grants you the opportunity to appreciate Mary Poppins almost like you knew nothing about it, and to know that this is much deeper than a silly musical, it was a life,an outlet for Pamela to open up. For her to take this baggage her childhood gave her and put a spin on it for others to enjoy, it was the experiences that Pamela had that allowed her to pour into this masterpiece of a book, that has been a timeless beloved comfort book for many, and sharing the journey Walt took Pamela on to create his version of the precious Mary Poppins that everyone treasures is brilliant . Mr.Banks is a delightful feature I highly recommend for 12+, due to the mature concepts, maybe older to really understand and appreciate this film.

  • Tom Hanks is utterly lovable as Disney and plays well against Emma Thompson’s brittle, control-freak old maid, Travers. It’s fun to see those two stars act together, they really delivered some good performances in my opinion. But the story wasn’t that interesting. This is actually a very lightweight and inconsequential story, more suited as an “extra” on the Mary Poppins DVD, rather than a full-length film. Also, this movie has no idea of what it wants to be. At some points, the main characters are caught in moral dilemmas, creating tension that never quite hits its mark due to the tone of the film. In other moments, the characters are dancing and singing when a parallel to the childhood of P.L. Travers is shown. I understand it’s a family movie, and clearly most people have enjoyed the show. But unfortunately I didn’t… Unless you watch it for the acting performances, you better skip this one…


  • “George Banks and all he stands for will be saved. Maybe not in life, but in imagination. Because that’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.”

    Who doesn’t love Walt Disney? Every day you’re confronted with it and most people have grown up with it. Almost every day I watch a Disney cartoon at home and still look with admiration, amazement and sometimes childlike joy at the magic that takes place on the screen. It’s a bit forced that I spend my time on that. Especially when you have two little kids of 2 and 4 hopping around at home, begging everyday for another Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, or ask me “Dad please put on that movie with those two dogs that eat spaghetti”.

    The only Disney product I really hate is the movie “Mary Poppins” . And that for the following reasons. I can’t stand Julie Andrews anymore, because of her contribution to “The Sound of Music”. That’s that Brady Bunch movie with a whole bunch of kids in it, with a lot of campfire songs. Every year I have to endure this monstrosity because it’s indefinitely shown on television at the end of the year. Looking at Julie Andrews gives me now spontaneous abdominal cramps. Dick Van Dyke is reason number two. That guy is constantly walking around with an enormous smile as if he has swallowed a coat hanger. Every dentist probably begins to drool spontaneously when this walking Colgate advertising figure appears on the screen. And third, I hate musicals ( For more information about this, see “The Great Gatsby” review). “Mary Poppins” is the only Disney product that will always fail to impress me.

    Now it appears to be that this “Savings Mr. Banks” is the story about the struggle between Walt and the author of “Mary Poppins”, PL Travers, to get the film rights in order to make a movie from this famous book. To my surprise it surely wasn’t bad and I can only express my praise on the performances of the protagonists.
    The highlight is of course Emma Thompson, who plays an outstanding role as the haughty, transverse and unyielding Travers. If Travers really behaved like this, I’d sent her immediately straight back to London. What a nasty aunt she is. If the tape recordings at the end are authentic, you can only conclude that it was indeed such a monster of a woman. Thompson plays in a convincing way the writer who’s to proud to give her favorite character away, so that it would only be used, according to her opinion, for commercial reasons. Sometimes she’s also a fragile and sad person since she carries a terrible secret from her past as we’ll notice during the movie. Whether these are real facts, I don’t know, but it would be a plausible explanation for her behavior. There are some really funny moments in this film like the scene where one of the musicians slips away in a sneaky fast way the music sheet with the title “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Superb.

    Tom Hanks shows again a natural way of interpretation. As if he actually was Walt Disney. For me, Hanks is currently one of the best actors in Hollywood. He can fully empathize with the role imposed and transform in such a way that he becomes one with the character. Whether he is a captain, a castaway or a stranger at an airport, it seems as if he has many years of experience with this matter. A unique actor with a unique gift.

    Colin Farell is also brilliant as the father of Travers. A key figure in the story who constantly tries to enchant his daughter with fairy-tales and fabricated stories. It’s his way to protect her from the horrible and hostile reality of everyday. It’s superb to see his mood swings. A good-hearted man who’s knocked out by his alcohol addiction. And finally has a real impact on the future of his daughter.

    Paul Giamatti took care of the role as personal driver of Travers. A captivating role with a sad impact. He’s also the first that made a personal contact with her and ultimately was the only one who she appreciated and she could tolerate. Brilliant supporting role.
    The only drawback, but at the same time I realize that it was not technically possible to achieve it in another way, was the constant interruptions by flashbacks. In this way, the past and the influence it had, got interwoven in a beautiful way with the present. The sad thing is that this slowed down the rhythm of the story. Not in an annoying way, but still annoying to me after a while.

    Towards the end a few handkerchief moments appear. But that was to be expected. But nevertheless, I still enjoyed this film. A historical narrative that explains the evolution of the movie “Mary Poppins”. I’ve seen the movie now, It didn’t nerve me, but I’ll still maintain the tradition I have with the original movie. I’ll probably never see it again!

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