Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks - Movie Review

Starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Melanie Paxson, Annie Rose Buckley and Rachel Griffiths.  Directed by John Lee Hancock.


I've never read P.L. Travers' original Mary Poppins book, but this film successfully filled me with desire to hunt down a copy. Seems like something my kids should read, familiar as they are with the Disney version with which Mrs. Travers had so many issues.  And if a movie makes you coming out wanting to read a book, that's a good thing, right? (I'm currently in the middle of reading 12 Years A Slave.)

This movie is a soft approach to the battles between Disney and P.L. Travers over her work, at least as far as the 1961 scenes go. It also keep flashing back to 1906, when Travers was a small girl, and those scenes inform why Mary Poppins means so much to Travers, and how protective she is of her work.

Colin Farrell, absent from the marketing save for his voice in the trailer and his name on the poster, has a substantial role as P.L.'s father, a banker who gets beaten down by life. His stuff is at least a third of the movie, and he and Ruth Wilson (as his wife) are very good in their very serious roles.

I'll admit I was moved by the end. Came together quite nicely, so when Travers (Thompson) had her emotional catharsis, I was right there with her.

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