Saving Mr. Banks

Reviewed
Sat. 1/20/18
Saving Mr. Banks
4.5833333333333
Acting
5
5/5
Morality
5
5/5
Music
4
4/5
Story
5
5/5
Visuals
4.5
4.5/5
Kernel Factor
4
4/5
The pursuit of a dream shown in a beautifully intriguing way.
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
Viewing Environment:
DVD or Streaming >27in
Viewing Crew:
Family
Times Watched:
2
Genre:
Drama
Payment Method:
Free/Screening
Review:

I first watched Saving Mr. Banks when it was in theaters back in late 2013, and just had the chance to rewatch it. I loved it then and I love it now. Saving Mr. Banks is a great name for the movie once you watch it, but it's hard to figure out if you've never seen it or Mary Poppins before. The story follows how Mary Poppins was made into a movie, and the arduous process Walt Disney went through to get the rights to the film from P.L. Travers. The flow of the movie is so well done. The story itself and the pursuit of telling the story is fascinating to me, especially as a filmmaker. You realize in a very practical way that great ideas take time, incredible stamina, and relentless focus. Although it beats the Disney drum pretty hard, it retains an authentic and heartfelt feel throughout. Great movie!

Acting
Everyone steps up their game in this one. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson lead the tone of the movie so well and really play great off one another. I love the supporting cast - their reaction to Mrs. Travers (Emma's character), their resolve, and their way of making you believe this story is so helpful to its overall execution. The separate storyline led by Collin Ferrell is also very well done and placed beautifully throughout the film to bring you back and forth in time. 
Morality
Mr. Banks (Collin's character) struggles with alcoholism - so it might not be great for younger kids to see - but the overall morality of the film is so valuable. It's the good ole America - where making a deal took time and a mutual proof of character over that time period. There's a good amount to learn in this film and so many themes to review with those you watch (e.g. resolving/bridging creative differences, learning to compromise, pursuing something that helps others, responding to critique, confronting your own story, and using your story to help people).
Music
You realize how good and memorable the Mary Poppins lyrics and songs are when you watch this film. Saving Mr. Banks has a lot of sequences and I feel like the music does a good job bringing us to new moments and back to old ones. Great work!
Story
I love this story! John Lee Hancock is the director of The Blindside and The Founder (among others), but he's clearly my kind of director, as I love the way he pieces true stories together. The flow of this story is effortless. The editing is pure. When you really think about it, this film is a massive undertaking given the fact that it's telling two storylines, but it does so in such a wonderfully simple way. 
Visuals
Great angles and camera placements throughout. Some locations were very simple, but it didn't need any sort of wow factor, thanks to such an interesting storyline and great acting. They kept it clean, with a good color palette and just a great art department in general to make the 1960's feel believeable. Lots of great timepiece shots. 
Kernel Factor
Walt Disney comes across as the savior maybe more than he really was, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that if this is mostly true then it really should credit Disney, Mrs. Travers, and everyone involved. I think, in the end, it does. But it ends on a solemn, yet very real, note. This sort of ending felt both appropriate/meaningful and disheartening/tear-jerker at the same time. I think it could've ended more on a happy note, but I also totally understand the intention. Overall, this movie is Poppin'!

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