Saving Mr. Banks – Quicky Review!
Mary Poppins is a character that will stay with many of us for the rest of our lives and will be remembered for many years to come. A tale of a wondrous nanny with magical abilities and a loving heart cemented it’s place in many hearts and minds, even when it was just a book! Saving Mr. Banks details the creation of Mary Poppins and P.L. Travers’ aversion to it’s filming without her specific sign off.
Going into the theatre, the trailer didn’t look all that, but considering I have a soft spot for anything vintage or Disney orientated, I looked forward to exploring the workings and production of a story that was a staple in my childhood. The opening scene of the iconic Disney castle logo was the 1960’s version and kept it’s grainy 30mm film aspect and was an incredible gorgeous but subtle piece even before the movie starts, almost as if it’s taking it’s hat off, bowing in respect to the past.
Jumping into the movie, we follow 2 time lines. The first is obviously the 1960’s era that depicts Travers’ struggles and the weeks she spent in California working on the film. Our second time line is Travers as a young girl in Australia that depicts a life vastly different to her current lifestyle. The stories merge intermittently throughout to give context to certain scenes and motivations. They also help illustrate Travers’ attitudes and aversion to change. The merging of the lines is perfectly done. Nothing is harsh on the eye and you don’t get dropped into another scene that opens up another avenue, it seamlessly blends together. Even though the stories follow the same character, the pieces are juxtaposed against each other. While one starts off happy, it deteriorates while the other flourishes the longer it goes on.
Many scenes are dotted throughout the movie that are just perfect. There is no doubt about it. A mix of the exuberant colours, great acting and a brilliant script that really resonates. A particular favourite was when Travers’ was leaving the US. Through the time she spent there, a personal driver was assigned to drive her where ever she chose. Ralph (Paul Giamatti) was his name. Blissfully unaware to who he was driving about, he would talk about the beauty of life in LA and his disabled daughter. Just before Travers leaves, Ralph found out from his daughter about her and asked for a signature. The ensuing conversation is a real tear-jerker and still stays with me even when I saw it weeks ago.
With a huge cast of actors and many recognisable faces, we understand their abilities. Fortunately, they manage to maintain a high standard of acting that doesn’t diminish. I was extremely surprised to see Colin Farrell appear. I didn’t expect to see so many people. Farrell also has experience as an alcoholic, so jumping into the boots of one isn’t much different to what he used to do. Not being a huge fan of him, I do have to say that he played the role with dignity and portrays Travers Goff as a wonderful human being struck by something difficult to control. Obviously, Tom Hanks is Walt Disney and I really enjoyed his performance, even though I’m hearing complaints about his southern accent. Personally, I have no idea what they are grinding at but otherwise all the acting was superb.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had real trouble trying to find something wrong with the movie. I didn’t want to sit here a praise it endlessly without something to pick on. The only thing I can think of is that I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Disney. Not just the theme park but a little more into the background of Walt. Seeing I’ve run out of things to say, I believe that this movie is worth a good 9/10. Mary Poppins is brilliant story that has influenced countless generations and the premise to delve into it was a great idea while seamlessly blending two time lines into one.
Posted on 15/12/2013, in Film & TV, Reviews and tagged B.J. Novak, Bradley Whitford, Colin Farrell, disney, Emma Thompson, entertainment, film, Jason Schwartzman, mary poppins, movie, Paul giamatti, review, Ruth Wilson, tom hanks, walt disney. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.