Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Annie Rose Buckley, Paul Giamatti
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Written By: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 5 min
After the experience of watching Saving Mr. Banks – a good experience mind you. I spent some time (as I usually do) mulling over what I just saw. Replaying sections over again, and one word kept floating to the surface of the syrupy stew I call a thought process. Wise. I say that, because P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson) is such an unlikable character. If the film had just stayed with her, then Mr. Banks would just be a miserable time in the theater seat.
It isn’t though. As we get to know P. L. Travers, we also frequently flash back to her childhood. This provides much needed context for this character, and in a big way explains why her Mary Poppins story was so important to her personally. That development, and the always superb Emma Thompson are a great combination, and Saving Mr. Banks is a solid film. The supporting cast are also good, especially Tom Hanks, and Colin Farrell.
This can be a little slow at times, and it may seem a little confusing at the beginning after the first couple of flash backs. But hang in there and give this film a chance. If you are a fan of Emma Thompson this is a must see. Also, if you’re a Disney fan, this is an interesting look back at the making of Mary Poppins.
Saving Mr. Banks is also really nicely photographed, and has a great score by the legend Thomas Newman. A digital matinee is recommended. At home, a HD viewing for sure.
Best element for me:
This is all about Emma Thompson for me. Admittedly I’m a huge fan, but still. Her character is really unlikable on the surface, yet Emma Thompson always manages to betray that rough outward appearance just enough to make sure you’re never fully pushed away, and ready to see what she’ll do next.