Sunday, March 23, 2014

2013 - SAVING MR BANKS or portrait of an artist as a terrible person.

If you having a burning desire to watch a film about the creation of the Disney version of Mary Poppins, this film is for you.  Saving Mr. Banks is a long trudge back and forth between the author P.L. Travers tragic childhood in Australia and her bitchy behavior with Disney's creative team during the making of Mary Poppins.

It's pretty clear as the film goes on with it's crisscross story structure that the audience is going to understand why Travers ended up the way she did. In this film Travers finally sees the light when the Sherman Brothers the composers of Mary Poppins stick in the "Lets's Go Fly a Kite" song which brings Travers around.  After about 90 minutes of setting up what an emotionally damaged person Travers is this seems kind of like a cheat to wrap up the story.  Only in a Hollywood movie and particularly a Disney movie,  could the core issue of P. L. Travers tragic relationship with her alcoholic father be resolved with a song

Andrews, Disney, Travers 

The film has a good cast.  Tom Hanks is a likable guy who plays the likable Walt Disney.  Emma Thompson is a pro and does what she can do to soften the character.  The rest of the cast is filled in with decent actors like Paul Giamatti and Colin Farrell.  The director John Hancock has done a decent job keeping a way to long movie perking along.

However, 20 minutes digging around on the internet reveals that Travers was a lot nastier person than she was as portrayed by Emma Thompson.  In particular she mostly ruined the life of her adopted son and apparently was shunned by her family towards the end of her life. 

125 minutes

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