Directed by John Lee Hancock
This was yet another of the popular movies that came in 2013, and after recently becoming available on UK Netflix, Saving Mr Banks delivers in a heartfelt, sentimental and almost cringe-worthy way to the heart and soul.
The movie is set in 1961, on the premises of ‘sunny’ Los Angeles, where Mrs Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, is reluctantly working with Walt Disney himself on the prospects of granting him the film rights. Mrs Travers, played by Emma Thompson, is more haughty and presumptuous than any other uptight middle-class Briton yet doesn’t fail to have that spark of imagination in her, rendered dormant by her inexplicably harsh childhood which is told in flashbacks throughout the course of the film, with perfect timing and accuracy to keep the two flowing together in harmony.
Ginty sweeps the floor in another flashback.
The other main/supporting characters do a pretty good job of it, too, making sure the storyline stays just above the water to be believable but not bloated-Tom Hanks as Disney is fabulous, with that vain, childlike twinkle in his eye, and I truly love the, if slightly stereotypical, character of Ralph, Mrs Travers’ guide and personal driver with the emotional backstory, although he seems to be all sun and shine on the surface.
Scenery is nothing special-there is no true need to it, apart from the idyllic creation of Disneyland, which Walt shows to Mrs Travers in order to reignite her lost imagination.
But the music really shone through to me. Thomas Newman creates a tragically beautiful soundtrack highlighting the more serious undertone to this otherwise magical journey of forgiveness. Here is one of my favourite pieces:
This precious movie for heart-warming souls will warm the cockles of your heart, and if it doesn’t make you cry-well I don’t know what will. (We can try onions.) Although it might have received less praise than the topic-challenging 12 Years a Slave, for me it’s Saving Mr Banks that comes out on top, with a more sentimental tone that helps you be there as it happens, cry as they cry, rather than watching it at the cinema as another big blockbuster.
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