There's a feeling throughout most of Saving Mr Banks that whenever it is doing well it's only doing so by riding on the coattails of Mary Poppins. The rehearsal room scenes are great and it's always a joy to hear even a snippet of the classic songs. Emma Thompson has received lots of praise and she's great but it's a role and a character that she could do in her sleep. Much more interesting and enjoyable are the trio of Jason Schwartzman, BJ Novak and Bradley Whitford as the Sherman brothers and screenwriter Don Da Gradi, and Paul Giamatti as the driver.
It feels like there are much better stories to be told either about making the film or the life of P.L Travers but we get stuck with the Disneyfied version of both. As a result not a lot really happens and the film rarely feels like it's directed, more pointing a camera at great actors. The real problem are the flashbacks which are clunky, heavy handed and dull but worse than that they constantly interrupt the flow of the film every time it's getting good.
December 03, 2013 at 06:39PM