Monday, January 06, 2014

Saving Mr Banks. 

A most gorgeous film that depicts the battle of wills between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins novels. Mr D wants to make the book into a movie. Mrs T is loathed to relinquish the rights to the saccharin sweet studio but is running out of money fast. 

I went to see this purely on the recommendation of B S Neill. It's not often that he recommends a film wholeheartedly. And I admit to some apprehension as our respective tastes are often quite different. But I guess this one is cheery enough for him and bittersweet enough for me. Anyway, I'm glad I did.

It's a charming story. And an exquisite feat of art direction. But the stars of this film (aside from the real life people on whom the script is based) are the actors. I don't much like Tom Hanks as a rule, exceedingly uncharitably, but he exuded an undaunted optimistic charisma. And a cracking accent. Emma Thompson was glorious. A proper bundle of bitterness. I gather her transformation at the end of the film to Slightly Nicer Person may be a convenient Disney invention. But they were backing the film. And what is a film if not a re-imagining of a truth in a way that installs hope? (So said Mr D, at any rate.)

Paul Giamatti turns in a delightful performance as the put-upon and extremely tolerant chauffeur to Mrs T around the sprawling filmset that is LA. And the writer / lyricist / music man trio with the cake-loving sidekick are great fun.

A film about reality impinging on a happy ending, this is a perfect back to work (ugh ugh ugh) tonic. Go see and then go out and fly a kite.


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