Reviewed by: John Decker
ramifications of alcoholism / drunkenness in the Bible
difficulties involved in losing a parent at a young age
How different was the real Pamela L. Travers from the one depicted in the movie?
Was the real relationship between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers as amicable as portrayed in the film?
music in the Bible
Emma Thompson … P.L. Travers
Tom Hanks … Walt Disney
Colin Farrell … Travers Goff
Paul Giamatti … Ralph
Jason Schwartzman … Richard Sherman
Annie Rose Buckley … Ginty
Ruth Wilson … Margaret Goff
Bradley Whitford … Don DaGradi
B.J. Novak … Robert Sherman
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|Director||John Lee Hancock—“The Blind Side,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “The Alamo”|
Walt Disney Pictures
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|Distributor||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
“Where her book ended, their story began.”
“Saving Mr. Banks” is my favorite film of 2013 with hardly a runner up. I would be pleased if I could set the expectations for you in watching this film. I was inclined for the first 30 minutes of the film, that in my review I would say something snide about “Saving Mrs. Poppins,” but for better reasons, after watching the rest, I am inclined not to. This is a very touching film. Yes, it is far from being about Walt Disney.
There is no doubt that this film leans powerfully into giving us a glimpse of production life at Disney, and it gives us a strong shadow of Walt Disney himself—impressions and anecdotes which take those of us who have never read a W. Disney biography into a journey of getting to know this icon of a man just enough to appreciate him more than the day before. Like W. Disney’s life itself, and that of any artist, there is more to this story than meets the eye. I will admit that it felt at first like a little sleight of hand took place; I feel I was led to believe this is a story about Walt Disney, but then I would ask much louder—why are we so obsessed with the greats? What about the geniuses unknown?
Ecclesiastes 9:15 says, “Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.” This story, as honestly the film name tells well, is more a back story of Mrs. Poppins, and what a powerful portrayal of the story it is.
In fact, I wish in some ways that it were a film about no one in particular, because it is such a beautiful story all of its own, and it is more powerful than the simple telling of anyone’s past. It wouldn’t get the box office hits without the big names though, would it? It might get some Oscars or other awards, but it would not carry as much bacon. On my soapbox I would say this is a sad state of affairs. Story, even story on film, is an amazing gift from The Lord, and this is a great one.
This story is heart-wrenching and heart-reaching. It is sincere and does not motivate a highly corrupted worldview, though it is in no way specifically Christian.
There are very few objections to this story. It is wholesome and thoughtful. It contains 2 damns, 2 hells, some alcohol abuse, a puff of smoke, bloody coughing into a rag, a drunken fall and a couple of kisses. The dress is very modest, as are the manners, etc. Director John Hancock also made “The Blind Side.” He obviously is able to craft a story well beyond pomp, popularity and shallow emotion. I say “Nice work, Sir.”
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate—“Oh G*d” (2), “Oh dear G*d,” “God,” “Good Lord,” “damn” (2), “hell” / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.