I always feel a bit weird when I watch a movie about the making of another movie. Seems like it should be some kind of paradox.
In Saving Mr. Banks, the story of how the movie Mary Poppins was made is told. In it, Tom Hanks plays Walk Disney, a man desperate to get his hands on the movie rights to the story of Mary Poppins. However, in true crazy writer fashion, the author of the book P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) refuses to give up her work. It isnâ€™t until sheâ€™s running low on money that she finally caves and allows it to get done.
The movie comes with a patented upbeat feel that you can expect from Walt Disney. Though the sap gets laid on a little thick at times, itâ€™s Disney. What more can you expect?
Hanks plays Disney with surprising warmth and sentimentality. When playing Disney, he plays a man more focused on seeing his daughters dreams come true than he is on making money.
Travers was played by an equally good Emma Thompson. Emma makes her unreasonable character both amusing and just a tad obnoxious.
My main problems with the film were what I like to call â€˜the Disney Whitewashâ€™. This happens whenever Disney creates a film from real life events. The characters become one-dimensional and flat. Travers was unreasonable. Disney was everyoneâ€™s favorite uncle who insisted that employees called him â€˜Waltâ€™. [more…]
I mean, Iâ€™m not saying that the producers should have delved into the anti Semitism allegations around Walt Disney, but couldnâ€™t the characters have a bit more of an edge?
Travers was given the real twist though. In real life, she was an interesting woman who led an exciting life. In this movie, for the purposes of plot continuity, she is turned into an uptight church lady who lives alone in a big Victorian mansion, a victim of her own guilt.
If they are going to attempt to make a movie based on real events, I wish theyâ€™d attempt to be a bit truer to the characters that started the events in the first place.
Director John Lee Hancock (Blind Side) knows his way around heartwarming, so heâ€™ll manage to get viewers chocked up more than once. Per usual, his direction was flawless.
So why did I feel like I was getting run over by the corporate propaganda machine? This is not a behind the scenes tell all movie. This is clearly a movie designed by Disney, to make Disney look good. For example, despite being a complete pain in the a** for the first half of the movie, Travers inexplicably changes her mind about the movie and decides to accept all the changes.
Thatâ€™s not the real life story, and honestly, Iâ€™m pretty sure the real P.L. Travers is spinning in her friggen grave.
All that aside, itâ€™s a decent story. If you can ignore the innate sleaziness of a movie studio making a movie about how great their movie studio is, Saving Mr. Banks might be worth the watch.
Watch the trailer below.Â If you have seen the movie rate, review and earn some points.