What happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force? What happens when two determined and head strong creative minds battle over a character? What happens when history and past combine to make one headstrong woman? What happens when you make a movie with two of the greatest actors of all time?
Saving Mr Banks happens.
Saving Mr Banks is a perfectly acceptable movie. It is rather enjoyable, managing to balance the comedy and the drama really well. Each aspect of the movie runs smoothly, from the impressive turn from Colin Farrell as Travers father and a troubled past in Australia to the present, and her dealings with the “vulgar” world of Disney. It all comes together quite well. Emma Thompson is on fire as Travers and puts on a spellbinding performance as a woman torn between sides of her as well as the fierce protection. Rather than making her the villain, John Lee Hancock here actually makes her understandably annoyed. She created a whole world that she loved and that mother-like fight for it is portrayed exceedingly with Thompson.
The problem here is the ending. While it is great to see the creative minds battle between joyful and strict, the ending feels like Disney are giving themselves a slap on the back. Because they play fast and loose with Travers' reaction to the final product. It almost seems as though she enjoyed the film whereas it is publicly known that she didn’t. She hated it, slated it and author still remained in dispute with the studio ever since. Here, in Saving Mr Banks, the reaction isn’t that. It is frustrating because while the film dabbled in the good and excellent is cheapened by it.
Mary Poppins is a much beloved movie and no one is going to take anything from that. Saving Mr Banks is just a story about a woman who created characters as family due to the worrisome past she had lived. It is, at most times, a fantastic film that, even though it runs on too long and the final scene shouldn’t have happened, Saving Mr Banks will warm people up this winter month.