‘Saving Mr Banks’ Review: Emma Thompson amazes in ‘Mary Poppins’ tale
Saving Mr Banks could have been an intense, difficult to watch biopic on PL Travers and been nominated for an Oscars. Instead, the spoonful of Disney sugar made this an enjoyable picture, offering laughs and smiles to counter the painful reality of her childhood.
By the way, it may still earn an Oscar nomination or two, especially Emma Thompson, who delivered a mesmerizing portrayal of the famous Mary Poppins author.
The myth and legacy of Walt Disney is perpetuated here as a good-intentioned, creative figure, who is genuine and honest.
Saving Mr Banks follows the adaptation of Mary Poppins from book to film and the struggle of the author to deal with demons in her past which served as motivation for the Poppins character. Disney (Tom Hanks) has wrestled with the woman for 20 years to get the rights to the film, but now Travers (Thompson) may be forced to concede, traveling to Hollywood to oversee the process.
Driving the film are flashbacks from her childhood and the family issues that were essential in the development of the book. Colin Ferrell and Ruth Wilson (The Lone Ranger) are the girl’s parents with Annie Rose Buckley delivering a fantastic performance as Ginty.
Hanks is adequate, but the studio is a bit overzealous is trying to sell Walt’s good intentions. Paul Giamatti emerges from a great supporting cast, which a touching and humorous role as Travers’ driver and you may always think of the film when you here the phrase “Misses.”
The film is entirely about Thompson and her character’s transformation from a prudish, angry British to a woman that can find healing and joy again.
Since the Oscars choose ten films for Best Picture, it could land near the bottom of that heap, but expect Thompson to get a nomination and possibly win her second award.
Saving Mr Banks earns 4 out of 5 stars
This film is not for children and this is not Mary Poppins or a fun, frivolous film, so don’t have the wrong expectations.