'Saving Mr. Banks' garners mainly positive reviews (+video)(Read article summary)
'Saving Mr. Banks' stars Emma Thompson as 'Mary Poppins' author P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.
â€śSaving Mr. Banks,â€ť the film based on the life of â€śMary Poppinsâ€ť author P.L. Travers and the making of the â€śMary Poppinsâ€ť movie, hits theaters on Dec. 13 and is already earning mainly positive reviews.
â€śSaving Mr. Banksâ€ť stars â€śBraveâ€ť actress Emma Thompson as Travers, while â€śCaptain Phillipsâ€ť actor Tom Hanks portrays Walt Disney, Colin Farrell of â€śTotal Recallâ€ť plays Traversâ€™ father, and actors B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman play the Sherman Brothers, who were behind the score of â€śMary Poppins.â€ť It will be released in limited locations on Dec. 13 and enter wide release on Dec. 20. (Check back for our own review on Friday.) Oscar pundits have been pointing to the film as a possible contender for major awards like Best Picture, Best Actress (Thompson), and Best Actor (Hanks).
Variety writer Scott Foundas called the movie â€śa bit square, never particularly surprising, yet very rich in its sense of creative people and their spirit of self-reinventionâ€ť and found Thompson â€śsuperbâ€ť and Farrell â€śexcellent.â€ť
â€ś[John Lee] Hancock, who cut his own directorial teeth at the studio (on the inspirational baseball drama â€śThe Rookieâ€ť and the underrated â€śThe Alamoâ€ť) is sometimes a bit too on-the-nose with his parallel storytelling, too heavy with Thomas Newmanâ€™s bouncy score, and too eager to pluck at our heartstrings (at which he nevertheless succeeds),â€ť he wrote. â€śAnd if someone had to play Disney in a movie, a better candidate than Hanks, himself a gleaming icon of wholesome American entertainment, is hard to imagine.â€ť
Forbes writer Scott Mendelson found the movie production scenes â€śsomewhat repetitiveâ€ť but wrote that Thompsonâ€™s scenes with actor Paul Giamatti as a limo driver were â€śamong the best in the pictureâ€ť and that the flashbacks to Traversâ€™ youth with her father were â€śmost engaging,â€ť with Farrell â€śterrificâ€ť in the movie.
Leslie Felperin of the Hollywood Reporter said the script is â€śingenious.â€ť
â€śEmma Thompson takes charge of the central role of the waspish P.L. Travers with an authority that makes you wonder how anybody else could ever have been considered,â€ť she wrote. â€śColin Farrell [is] doing his best work for some timeâ€¦. [there are] outstanding performances by the leads and supporting cast.â€ť
Meanwhile, Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw says the roles of Travers and Disney are â€śenjoyably playedâ€ť by Thompson and Hanks but that the scenes of Traversâ€™ childhood are â€ślaboriousâ€ť and Farrell is â€śbelow-par.â€ť He found the movie â€śa watchable film, with a giant-sized spoonful of sugarâ€¦. It's a shame we couldn't get more fireworks from the incomparable Hanks and Thompson.â€ť