Let's start this out with some disclaimers and such: I was sent to a free pre-screening of this film on November 25. Any opinions are my own. I will do my very best to keep this review spoiler free but as I have learned time and time again, spoilers vary from person to person. "This is a Disney movie?!"
It's always tough for me when I don't love a movie. Don't get me wrong I liked Saving Mr. Banks but I wasn't in love. So what I now want to do with my review is be objective and let you form your own opinions but still give you some background. I hope this all makes sense.
- Acting was great! Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are fantastic. The entire cast was able to bring a sincerity and heart to Saving Mr. Banks. Paul Giamati as the chauffeur will give you a bad case of the warm and fuzzies. Emma Thompson will make you believe she is a bitter old British woman who has just a little bit of humanity left. Tom Hanks isn't a great Disney but that's not his fault. Truth be told I don't know who could've played Disney. Hanks is a bit too chubby (yes that is superficial but true) and I thought a bit too "down home" to have a Disney feel. He felt a lot like a Walt Disney caricature.
- Disney was portrayed not as an epic legend but a business man who wants to make money and still had a heart. It is a rich and deep portrayal and not just one dimensional. I loved that about Saving Mr. Banks. It humanizes Walt Disney and makes him a man we completely understand.
- Might want to leave the kids at home. Saving Mr. Banks is NOT a kids movie. I repeat, NOT a kids movie. This isn't about magical nannies or fantasy. Saving Mr. Banks is about very harsh realities and the fictionalized biography of a woman with a tough past. With that in mind...
- Heavy themes like alcohol, child abuse and death. Those are just the themes I remember.
- Story was heartfelt. Saving Mr. Banks has a lot of heart. Every character has their ups and downs and we find ourselves caring for them.
- A little slow and boring. The movie had it's lulls. Also the false ending didn't help.
- Definite worth watching if you're a Disney fan. Saving Mr. Banks has a lot of inside jokes that we Disney fans will appreciate. We also have some background on the story so it's nice to compare what we know to how the movie turned out. I like to think that I just added another stamp to my (imaginary) Disney fan card.
- Tells P.L. Travers story not Walt or Mary Poppins's. Saving Mr. Banks is not the Walt Disney story. It is not the making of Mary Poppins. It is a biopic about P.L. Travers and her very complicated past. Half of Saving Mr. Banks is in flashbacks to P.L.'s childhood. The other half follows her time with Disney.
- Heart of the movie about dads who are just trying to do their best. Hence the title "Saving Mr. Banks". It's a movie about saving the dad in our lives. They are flawed, they are human but at the end of the day we love them and they are our heroes.
All in all I like Saving Mr. Banks. I think it was interesting to see. My recommendation is see it so you can compare notes with friends. It would make a great date night or rainy day rental. Have you seen Saving Mr. Banks? What did you think?