Howdy people of the internet and welcome to the first of 3 film reviews today. Now I know that I am a fair bit late with this film review, but honestly my uni schedule has kept me away from the cinema so that’s why this Saving Mr. Banks review is SO late. However I knew that this was a film I’d have to review for this blog no matter what, so read on to find out my thoughts,
The story in the film depicts author P. L. Travers and her fortnight-long briefing in Los Angeles as she is persuaded by filmmaker Walt Disney, in his attempts to obtain the screen rights to her novel. And while in LA Travers has flashbacks into her troubled past as a child which haunts her.
I thought the story was fairly interesting, dramatic, funny and unexpected. I knew the film would be about the process in which Disney wanted to make Mary Poppins into musical and how he had to get approval from Travers, but I never knew it would turn out like this. I thought the film would be a typical drama “based on a true story”, however I did not expect the film to have as much emotional depth to it. I got a bit teary-eyed to be honest. 😛 The story is very much centered on P. L. Travers, but there is also some room for Walt Disney and some other major character plot lines that you do not expect to see due to trailers leaving it out.
As for the cast they al do a tremendous job at bringing their characters to life and making us, the audience care about them. But the stand-out performance by far is Emma Thompson as Pamela “P. L.” Travers. Thompson was absolutely mesmerizing as the author of Mary Poppins, she was extremely intimidating, pre-judgemental, overbearing, persistent, and quite a rude woman in general. But it was those qualities that made her such a joy to watch as her snarky remarks and actions lead to some very moments throughout the film. Thompson is just such a versatile actress and her believability and emotional range is so heartfelt and beautiful, and for some reason I felt incredibly attracted to her (I don’t know why though, maybe I like older women? :S). Oh and Annie Rose Buckley was great as the young P.L. Travers too!
Tom Hanks is good as always as Walt Disney, Hanks plays the iconic filmmaker and you can see that he is very jolly, charismatic and full of life, but also strong-willed, stubborn and likes to get his own way. And while this is not Hanks at his best, that is by no means a negative on his part as he turns in a good performance that is worth mentioning. The other major person in this film is Colin Farrell as Travers Robert Goff, Farrell has a fairly big role in this film that many won’t be aware of until they watch the film and he does a great job in the film. His character is a very loving father, but behind his usually good-willed exterior, on the inside he had problems. This is definitely one of my favourite Farrell performances, it is strong, emotional and his accent is so good for a dude that’s naturally Irish.
And my other favourite performance would be from Paul Giamatti as Ralph, Pamela’s chauffeur. Giamatti is very well-known and versatile actor and while this was one of his more light-hearted roles, he was just adorable as this happy-go-lucky kind of guy who drove around Travers and tried to make conversation with her, even with her negative attitude. He and Travers have some great screen time together and I loved their interaction together. Other notable performances include Bradley Whitford as Don DaGradi, Melanie Paxson as Dolly and B. J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman as Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman.
In conclusion Saving Mr. Banks was a very good film with a lot of heart and amazing performances from the cast, but it is truly Emma Thompson who steals the show with incredible acting talent. While the film wasn’t nearly as impressive as I thought it would be because of the hype prior to it, it is something I will probably watch again at some point because of the performances alone.
Rating: 8.5 /10 (A beautiful story with a great central performance from Emma Thompson)
So what did you think of Saving Mr. Banks? Did you like it or hate it? Whatever your thoughts are, leave them in the comment section below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo! 😀