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Bettie's Box Office: Saving Mr. Banks Review
Updated: Friday, December 20 2013, 10:36 AM CST
No need for a spoonful of sugar to digest this delightful movie. Saving Mr. Banks is a movie about the movie, Mary Poppins. Most of us know that classic musical, but most probably don't know that it was almost never made. Saving Mr. Banks is "inspired by true events" and tells the story of Walt Disney's dogged pursuit of the books' author, P.L. Travers, to bring Mary to the big screen.
Disney, played brilliantly by Tom Hanks, is driven by a promise he made to his young daughters to make their favorite book into a movie. But Travers, portrayed just as convincingly by Emma Thompson, is a dour, curmudgeonly loner who hates all things Disney. She rebuffs him for two decades before dwindling finances force her into considering the idea. Even then, she is determined to sabotage the effort from the moment she arrives.
Most of Saving Mr. Banks takes place during Travers' two-week script consulting visit to Disney's studio, but it's constantly peppered with flashbacks to her childhood. By the end of the film you know why Mary Poppins and Travers both turned out the way they did.
Hanks is charming as Walt Disney and Thompson is sufficiently stuffy as Travers. There is real humor in their conflict because they're worlds apart in every way.
The truth is that Travers hated the movie, Mary Poppins, reportedly leaving the premiere in tears. I was also misty-eyed in Saving Mr. Banks, but that's because this sentimental and emotionally seductive film is one of my favorites of 2013.
It's a great family movie - although teens probably won't be as charmed by the nostalgia - and definitely worth a full-price ticket.
Saving Mr. Banks is rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some unsettling images.