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Film Review: Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks

Disney's Saving Mr. Banks
©Disney

“Wind in the east, mist comin’ in. Like something is brewin’ about to begin, Can’t put me finger on what lies in store but I feel what’s to happen, all happened before.” 

The film opens with this quote from Burt in the “Mary Poppins” film and from there the story just gets better and better in this film which was inspired by the backstory of the twenty year process of how Walt Disney’s classic film “Mary Poppins” made it to the big screen.

Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks which will be in limited release beginning on December 13 and opening in wide release on December 20. The film stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers with Colin Ferrell as Travis Goff and Paul Giamatti as Ralph. It is directed by John Lee Hancock who directed the 2009 film “The Blind Side” which was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category with Sandra Bullock winning Best Actress Oscar. Screenplay was written by Kelly Marcel who is working on the script for E.L. James anticipated “Fifty Shades of Grey” and Sue Smith who wrote the screenplay for “My Brother Jack.”

The acting in the film is amazing with Thompson and Hanks playing well off of each other. Thompson as P.L. Travers is so interesting as she leaves you wanting to learn more about her character and what makes her hold the characters of Mary Poppins and the Banks family so close to her heart. Hanks portrays Walt Disney so well showing the time and effort used to get into the role. A role that is not very easy to play but he really does become’s Walt.

Two actors though steel the film, Colin Ferrell and Paul Giamatti. Ferrel portrays Travis Goff the father of P.L. Travers with so much heart and vigor especially in the addictive secret that he hides from his daughter. He gives one of the best performances I have ever seen him do on screen. It is an award winning performance and it plays and since his role plays such a key point to the film he carries his part so well. Giamatti is the second performance you just cannot pass up. As the driver for P.L. Travers, Ralph, when she arrives to Los Angeles his role really does a key element in the film. Though his time on the screen in total is not long, the relationship built between him and Thompson character. As scene that stands out is when they are sitting outside the building on the Walt Disney Studio lot and then Ralph tells P.L. Travers about his daughter and why he always talks about sunny days the way he does.

Overall, John Lee Hooker once again directs an amazing film full of heart and at times leave you with a tear as the story will find that place that many of us may have experienced what Travers did in her life if either as a child or an adult. Hooker in this film as in his past film knows how to pull the best from his actors especially from Jason Schwartman and B.J. Novak as the Sherman Brothers. This is a film that is a must see especially if you have the opportunity to see it earlier. Will be on my top 10 for the year and will not be surprised is you see some award nominations. Saving Mr. Banks will be in theaters starting this Friday, December 13 and opening wide the following week on the twentieth.

Saving Mr. Banks: A+

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Michael Sandoval

Michael created MUSE/MUSE TV after a career in professional sports and journalism. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Don Bosco Technical Institute in which he studied Electronics and Computer Science and California State University, Fullerton in which he graduated with a degree from the College of Communication in Journalism. He is a big Foo Fighters fan, loves Star Wars and loves photography. Member of the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society.

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