Average Score: 8.35/10
Disney’s newest film ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ is one of their best live-action movies in a long, long time and my favourite since ‘The Muppets’. The movie stars an incredible cast including Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell and Paul Giamatti. The cast here are spectacular, great performances by the whole cast. Emma Thompson is great as P.L. Travers as she is this hard to please character as this where she is the most likeable character in the movie. Tom Hanks does a fine job as Walt Disney. Colin Farrell shocked me out of the whole cast, the other two I’ve seen them in some great movies in the past with Thompson in ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ and Hanks in ‘Cast Away’ and ‘Forrest Gump’, Farrell gives the most emotional performance in the whole movie. The script is strong with some heavy drama and comedic light tones of moments which are hilarious, along with some emotional scenes tossed in there and what you get out of this equation is this great family movie that any age can enjoy. I was entertained by how they made this timeless classic ‘Mary Poppins’ and the effort for Walt Disney to receive the film rights to this popular written novel by author P.L. Travers. I’m a huge fan of Walt Disney and love how a movie is constructed from scratch, ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ is simply spectacular, engaging, stupendous and above all ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ is nearly “practically perfect in every way”, quoting ‘Mary Poppins’ herself. Very highly recommended.
Daniel's Score: 9/10
This review was published on January 11, 2014.
Chim-chimeny-chim-chim...you get the idea. There's no doubt 'Mary Poppins' is one of Disney's most beloved films and its songs among their most iconic. So it seems natural that the story of that film's conception is equally rich in character and charm. And 'Saving Mr. Banks' is indeed a very charming, understated and subtly made film of its own right. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson both give it their all in their respective roles of Walt Disney and P.L. Travers, and the result is a pair of fine performances that lend extra weight to a surprisingly personal, emotional story. The main film is split into two timelines and despite the fact they mesh thematically and narratively, I couldn't help but feel a jarring distance between the heavily-themed flashbacks and the main narrative. Perhaps this is intentional, as the connection becomes closer towards the end, but I still cared more about young Travers than old Travers. Also, the charmingness of some scenes undermines the seriousness in others, resulting in the overall experience feeling slightly underwhelming and hollow. Minor quibbles aside though, I loved every scene with Walt Disney because the excellent writing and acting that goes into him makes him a more believable man than I ever pictured the real Disney as. But when it comes down to it, it was the emphasis on the importance of imagination that stood out to me above all else in 'Saving Mr. Banks' and the highest credit I can give this film is it practices what it preaches and aims for the stars... even if it only reaches the clouds and floats down on an umbrella.
Nic's Score: 7.7/10
This review was published on January 12, 2014.