Quickie Review: SAVING MR. BANKS


Saving Mr. Banks (2013) — ***
Quickie Review

Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) courts Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) in an attempt to obtain the movie rights to her beloved book. But Poppins means much more to Travers than just a chance to make quick cash and she won’t give her characters over to that “silly” Disney that easily.

Conventional in the very best sense of the word, this behind-the-scenes drama about the making of Mary Poppins is full of just enough saccharine sentimentalism to get the heart pumping. It’s a film that will, as it did in my screening, make grown men cry.

Emma Thompson is outstanding as Travers, as she deals with her own personal demons while reviewing Disney’s pre-production efforts at his Los Angeles studio. The supporting cast, including the eve-amazing Tom Hanks and a particularly heart-wrenching Colin Farrell as Travers’ father, is equally spectacular.

Under John Lee Hancock’s direction, who never attempts to be anything more than a solid, classical-style director, Saving Mr. Banks feels like the perfect ode to old Hollywood. And even at the film’s weakest moments, you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face.

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