Saving Mr Banks
by John Lee Hancock
From 29th November 2013
Produced by Walt Disney Films themselves, Saving Mr Banks came across
as being a major advert promoting themselves.
It was a tawdry movie, which caricatured PLTravers, the author of the
book Mary Poppins, which Disney Ltd released as a movie in 1964, after
finally, following a twenty year struggle, to get her to agree on giving
them the rights to film the story.
Travers - a complex personality - was a novelist, poet, actress and journalist,
as well as an adopter of a child, but watching this tosh you would not
know that - except for being a novelist of a kids story, which featured
a woman flying through the air holding an umbrella.
She was depicted as being extremely boorish, a loner, self centred and
a sexually frustrated spinster, facets of her personality which were conjured
up by the studios who invented Mickey Mouse!
Given the limited scope of the person she was portraying Emma Thompson
turns in a good performance, but she must have known beforehand that director
John Lee Hancock had only given Travers a one-dimensional personality.
Did Thompson not question this fabrication or did the size of the cheque
paid to her help keep her lips sealed?
Tom Hanks, who played Walt Disney, is another victim of the shallow nature
of this film. He was s chain smoker of renown but you never see him with
a cigarette in his mouth. Hanks said thanks for another big pay day at
going through the motions of acting in Hollywood.
Perhaps worst of all was the constant flashbacks, which became tiresome,
of Travers' childhood spent in the outback of Australia, with her alcoholic
father, played by a seriously miscast Colin Farrell, not helping with
the credibility of the movie.
Some have coined the phrase, in reference to Saving Mr Banks, that it's
only watchable with a giant sized spoonful of sugar. The problem though
is that it would take many spoonfuls of sugar to help this bad medicine