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Saving Mr. Banks

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Saving Mr. Banks - 12/11/2013 11:50:45 PM   
Empire Admin


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Fantastic stuff. - 12/11/2013 11:50:45 PM   

Posts: 257
Joined: 28/4/2012
From: Oxford, UK
Maybe it's just the right movie at the right time (read: not usually my sort of thing), but I found Saving Mr. Banks entirely charming, powered by a well-earned tweeness that's entirely in keeping with the surrounding narrative. It won't be to everyone's tastes, and it hasn't made me see Mary Poppins in a new light, but the film achieves its goals perfectly.

Very sweet, very funny, eminently watchable.

< Message edited by TheMightyBlackout -- 12/11/2013 11:51:15 PM >


More reviews and rambling like that ^^^ at: >>> <<<

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Greta Review! - 25/11/2013 12:04:07 PM   


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What a fantastic review, thanks Helen, one of the best I've read in ages.

Spot on.

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RE: Saving Mr. Banks - 30/11/2013 6:19:16 PM   


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As the awards season is approaching, there have been a series of fact-based films – from Rush to Captain Philips – of which had been the subject in many articles, less on whether they are good or not but on how faithful they are to the subject matter. Finishing the Tom Hanks double bill which is sure to be contenders of the Oscars, we see the delightful Mr Hanks as the iconic Walt Disney in a biopic about the making of the classic family film Mary Poppins.

As she is about to lose her English house, novelist Pamela "P.L." Travers (Emma Thompson) sets off to Los Angeles for two weeks as she is persuaded by filmmaker Walt Disney (Hanks), in his attempts to obtain the screen rights to her novel Mary Poppins. Being enormously difficult towards Disney and the film crew, her devotion to the characters Mary Poppins and the Banks family comes from her difficult childhood in Australia.

As a film that is produced by Walt Disney Pictures and is about the making of one of its classic titles, as well as the eponymous Disney featuring in the story, Saving Mr. Banks could be accused of softening the edges of the true story as Disney (perfectly played by Tom Hanks who is like the modern day equivalent) is depicted as the smiley-faced businessman/theme park owner that nearly everyone loves, while certain aspects of P.L. Travers’ life such as her bisexuality and adopted son are ignored completely.

John Lee Hancock directs this in the style of an old-fashioned Disney film, as the story is contrasted between the comedic difficulties of putting Mary Poppins on screen, featuring the Sherman brothers (played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak) being enormously frustrated by Travers when writing the iconic music; and the more dramatic and tragic flashbacks of her childhood in Australia, most especially to her father (played by Colin Farrell), the inspiration for the role of the story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks.

Playing P.L. Travers in both a culture-clash and fish-out-of-water story, Emma Thompson is wonderful as the uptight, obnoxious Englishwoman who prefers a cup of tea and definitely as her say over what happens in the film adaptation, much to the displeasure from her Hollywood associates. Despite her horrible attitude to others, there are moments of incredible emotions as there is a brilliant tear-jerking sequence which Emma Thompson is a master at.

Like the best Disney films, Saving Mr. Banks has funny and touching moments and while it is purely sentimental towards the facts it is depicting, the two lead performances, in particular Emma Thompson, are outstanding.

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Absolutely outstanding - 1/12/2013 8:16:55 PM   


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I caught this at a Cineworld Unlimited preview a few weeks back and thought it was fantastic. It just captured the magic of Disney and the tragedy of the young P.L Travers' life. I could gush about this incredible film but the review has done it justice. Easily my number one film of the year, and sitting comfortably up in my top 5 of all time.

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RE: Absolutely outstanding - 2/12/2013 7:54:38 AM   
Willy Wood


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Joined: 28/1/2013
Saw this last night at the Kinema in the woods, thought it was a good film but nothing special, a bit contrived for my liking.

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Would "Saving Mr Banks" be safe if Mrs Traver... - 3/12/2013 6:58:19 PM   
Ana Alves


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Joined: 3/12/2013
From: United Kingdom

First of all I have to mention how amazing it was (for me) to watch Tom Hanks play such an iconic figure as Uncle Walt. I would also like to mention that this is my own personal intake on the film, the rest of you are welcome to disagree as you please. Now that that is out of the way, the review can begin.
The two main actors gave a magnificent performance, with Tom Hanks�s head strong Disney (or should I say Walt) and Emma Thompson�s emotional, albeit equally strong willed Pame- pardon me, Mrs Travers. It was easy to enter the world of the movie and follow the turbulent journey of the Travers and, later, Disney.
The movie�s emotional ups and downs took me with them, as I found myself crying and laughing, or sometimes a mix of both.
Although I was not expecting the film to have quite such a serious tone to it that is not to say that this is a negative factor. In fact, I thought Colin Farrell�s performance as Mr Travers was moving, in more ways than one. Between feeling sorry for his wife and angry with him for not thinking more of his family I would say there is quite an emotional turmoil throughout the film.
The ending, although not what you would call a fairy-tale ending, is still satisfactory, after all the writer gets what she wants when �Mr Banks� is redeemed. I could not help but think, however, that as a child you do not really focus on Mr Banks� redemption so much as you do as an adult. In adulthood is when you realize that this father of two has decided to centre his life on his children more than his work (or in Mr Travers� case [based on the film] his drinking), and thus he is saved.
My favourite scene is when the Sherman brothers are performing the first musical scene, where Bert sings comical poems. Now since Mrs Travers showed aversion to the word �responstable� they show themselves reluctant to reveal another, now famous, little musical piece: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocio

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RE: Would "Saving Mr Banks" be safe if Mrs Tr... - 4/12/2013 9:53:22 PM   
Dr Lenera


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For some reason I wasn’t too keen on Mary Poppins as a child, and even now am still more of a Bedknobs And Broomsticks person, though I did warm to the film in time. Saving Mr. Banks is primairly about the battle of wills between two stubborn people: the author who wants to keep the integrity of her work and hates to see it changed or dumbed down, and the studio head who sees the potential in the material for a hugely popular family movie but feels certain alterations are required. Saving Mr. Banks, made by Disney, is good enough that it allows to understand both points of view, and the 1961 scenes are mostly really good, full of warmth and humour. Scenes where Pamela is played the iconic songs by the Sherman Brothers are the highlights, especially a joyous if totally improbable bit where Pamela find herself dancing to Let’s Go Fly A Kite. However, the film also feels a need to shoehorn in, and often rather randomly, lots of flashbacks to Pamela’s childhood, and these deadly serious scenes look and feel in every way that they are from a different film. They attempt to tell the inspiration for Mary Poppins, leading to a very forced crying scene at the end which seems to imply that Pamela exorcised a certain family issue by watching the film.

In fact, the whole affair has been sweetened with more than a spoonful of sugar which didn’t make the film go down in a most delightful way for this critic. Emma Thompson unsurprisingly plays the eccentric, cantankerous Pamela very well, but Tom Hanks neither looks, sounds and acts like Uncle Walt: I just didn’t buy he was the character for a moment. Meanwhile the blandly ‘middle of the road’ script of course avoids many interesting details like certain ‘unconventional’ details of Pamela’s life. Saving Mr. Banks is a pleasant watch that seems to be satisfying many people, but I found it often false and awkward.


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Post #: 8
Atlas - 29/12/2013 8:15:24 AM   


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Joined: 29/12/2013
PL Travers wasn't English. Are you English Helen?

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RE: Atlas - 31/12/2013 9:31:18 AM   


Posts: 101
Joined: 28/12/2013
The film is a little sluggish but Emma Thompson is a five-star treat as always.

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Post #: 10
Awesome - 2/3/2014 11:33:54 PM   


Posts: 54
Joined: 9/9/2013
Funny, charming, awesome, wonderful, touching, tearful, inspirational....and those words don't even encapsulate 25% of the superlatives I have for this for this movie. An utter triumph!

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