Saving Mr. Banks

{5/5} “I know what he’s going to do to her. She’ll be cavorting, and twinkling, careening towards a happy ending like a kamikaze.”

In 1961 Pamela is running out of money — she’s known as P. L. Travers to her fans, as author of several books about Mary Poppins. She reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to see Walt Disney, who wants to make a movie based on her character. She has script approval and there’s no way she’s going to give it to these people who are mangling her story. They even want it to make it a musical.

Saving Mr. Banks was released in 2013. It’s based on a true story.

Emma Thompson is screamingly funny as Pamela, who is constantly baffled and annoyed by everything she encounters. As the movie goes on, though, she becomes more of a tragic figure.

There are a fair number of flashbacks to Pamela’s childhood, when her family had to move out to the middle of nowhere because of her father’s job. Her father had a drinking problem.

The movie is delightful. If you’re a fan of Mary Poppins, or even if you’re not, you’ll want to check it out.

I liked the music a lot — it’s by Thomas Newman (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). It wittily incorporates several Disney tunes. It’s by far the most interesting new soundtrack I’ve heard in weeks.

Emma Thompson (Love Actually) plays Pamela (P. L.) Travers and Tom Hanks (Cloud Atlas) plays Walt Disney. Colin Farrell (Minority Report) plays Pamela’s father and Paul Giamatti (American Splendor) plays her driver.

Bradley Whitford (The Cabin in the Woods) plays the screenwriter, and B. J. Novak (the TV show The Office) and Jason Schwartzman (The Darjeeling Limited) play the composers.

Annie Rose Buckley (her first movie) plays young Pamela, called Ginty at that time.

The movie was directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side).

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 5:40 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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