I usually skip the big movies, but this one was so good that I just had to recommend it. After a couple of years, even the best movies fall to oblivion with all hyper-production nowadays. Saving Mr Banks is based on a true story of the production of the cult movie Marry Poppins). Starring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, and Paul Giamatti, the cast of this film could not be better. This is what Disney does best: big, heartwarming productions, and they have really outdone themselves with this one.
Everything from directing over production values to sound was perfect. But more importantly, they dealt with some very serious issues at the same time. Issues like abandonment, alcoholism, love, and friendship. They were explored in such a way that even young minds could comprehend and learn from them. We will occasionally get these flashbacks that take us back into Pamela’s childhood. While growing up in Australia, she faced many problems and family issues.
It is the year of our Lord Satan 1961 and times are tough for writer Pamela “P. L.” Travers. Although she is the author of the incredibly popular Marry Poppins, Pamela found herself in quite financial trouble. So much so that she is seriously considering agreeing to the movie based on her character. A movie that Walt Disney himself has been bugging her for relentlessly. She stubbornly refused this for years, but now she decides to do it and travels to the USA. What follows is history.
Unfortunately, I have seen Marry Poppins only once or twice when I was a kid, so this whole aspect of the movie eluded me. However, this did not spoil the experience, not one bit. Since the movie is a classic it was interesting to see how it was actually made. With that contagiously phenomenal song Let’s Go Fly A Kite that I only now caught up on. I know, I know, it’s a classic but don’t let me play you my childhood flashbacks. One of the things that’s also portreyed here are the artistic struggles. Both in general life and when working on big productions. It’s nice to see someone paying attention to people behind the screen.
Saving Mr Banks is a whole other beast. It’s deep, well-thought-out and it leaves you feeling like you actually learned something by watching it. Not to mention the fact that it’s entertaining and engaging as fuck. I mean, I didn’t expect anything less than perfection and they still managed to blow me away. The lack of melodrama and emotional milking is also very much appreciated. I don’t want to bore you too much with details, just see the fucking movie! And if you liked it, you might check out A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and maybe Kon-Tiki. Enjoy.
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writers: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Andy McPhee
Fun Facts: In this movie, Tom Hanks played Walt Disney, who was Hanks’ distant cousin.