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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks

Emma Thompson Mary Poppins

A Disney Studios film about the backstory of how Disney’s Mary Poppins came to the screen in 1964 could have been something quite atrocious. It’s not.

Two-time Oscar-winner Emma Thompson (as Mary Poppins author P.L Travers) and fellow double Oscar-winner Tom Hanks (as Walt Disney) is a delight.

Much of the credit for this film has to go to Emma Thompson, who is in almost every scene. And Hanks makes for a likeable and animated Mr. Disney. The movie needed his Hollywood stature and personality to play such an American icon. And good news for those who saw The Sound Of Music Live, Carrie Underwood does NOT play Julie Andrews.

Ultimately, this is a light documentary subject for a feature film during award season, yet I was fully intrigued. In fact, I think I’m guilty of humming a song or two on the way out, and I downloaded a biography of P.L. Travers that night.

Simply put:  A delightful Hollywood true story, with just a spoonful of sugar to make this the perfect family film for the holiday season.

Award potential: Thompson and Hanks are likely nominees. Neither will win. The film may be too sugary self-aware coming from Disney Studios to capture a Best Picture nomination, but it’s on the shortlist of ten movies that will likely get a nod.

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.

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