'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.
âSaving Mr. Banks,â the film based on the life of âMary Poppinsâ author P.L. Travers and the making of the âMary Poppinsâ movie, hits theaters on Dec. 13 and is already earning mainly positive reviews.
âSaving Mr. Banksâ stars âBraveâ actress Emma Thompson as Travers, while âCaptain Phillipsâ actor Tom Hanks portrays Walt Disney, Colin Farrell of âTotal Recallâ plays Traversâ father, and actors B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman play the Sherman Brothers, who were behind the score of âMary Poppins.â 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 âa bit square, never particularly surprising, yet very rich in its sense of creative people and their spirit of self-reinventionâ and found Thompson âsuperbâ and Farrell âexcellent.â
â[John Lee] Hancock, who cut his own directorial teeth at the studio (on the inspirational baseball drama âThe Rookieâ and the underrated âThe Alamoâ) is sometimes a bit too on-the-nose with his parallel storytelling, too heavy with Thomas Newmanâs bouncy score, and too eager to pluck at our heartstrings (at which he nevertheless succeeds),â he wrote. âAnd 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
Forbes writer Scott Mendelson found the movie production scenes âsomewhat repetitiveâ but wrote that Thompsonâs scenes with actor Paul Giamatti as a limo driver were âamong the best in the pictureâ and that the flashbacks to Traversâ youth with her father were âmost engaging,â with Farrell âterrificâ in the movie.
Leslie Felperin of the Hollywood Reporter said the script is âingenious.â
âEmma 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 she wrote. âColin Farrell [is] doing his best work for some timeâŚ. [there are] outstanding performances by the leads and supporting cast.â
Meanwhile, Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw says the roles of Travers and Disney are âenjoyably playedâ by Thompson and Hanks but that the scenes of Traversâ childhood are âlaboriousâ and Farrell is âbelow-par.â He found the movie âa watchable film, with a giant-sized spoonful of sugarâŚ. It's a shame we couldn't get more fireworks from the incomparable Hanks and Thompson.â