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MikePA's Movie Reviews (137)

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Saving Mr. Banks 
Review: Saving Mr. Banks
3.5/4 stars

With a strong focus on P.L. Travers and her personal life, director John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks tells the interesting production story of the one and only Mary Poppins. Travers of course isn't too fond of the idea of bringing her character to life, viewing their plans for the project as poor and lacking the heart that she brought to her books, which makes it a bit of a struggle for Walt Disney to convince her otherwise. This is a wonderful film - a beautifully told story featuring one of the year's most interesting and well-written characters, performed brilliantly by Emma Thompson. Thompson nails the attitude and bitchiness and frustration that is hiding Travers' good heart. The always reliable Tom Hanks makes good screen time for the unfortunately underwritten Walt Disney. Supporting players include Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford and BJ Novak who bring some extra brightness to the mood. The film heavily relies on flashbacks (featuring the wonderful Colin Farrell) to give P.L. Travers the depth she needs for the audience to attach to the character emotionally. While they can get slightly too sentimental at times, they're consistently effective, undeniably. Saving Mr. Banks is likable as all hell and at times even moving, containing that Disney magic that will stick with you. 3.5/4


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