29/11/2013

LFF Leftovers: Saving Mr Banks

I've never been a fan of Mary Poppins. Sure, Julie Andrews is an utter delight and I always have time for dancing penguins, but Dick Van Dyke's famously shit cockerney accent, the annoying children and the fact that it isn't Bedknobs and Broomsticks meant is was never a regular feature in my childhood. So with that in mind, I had very little interest in Saving Mr Banks but as it stars everyone's favourite uncle, Tom Hanks, and the woman we'd all like to get smashed on red wine with, Emma Thompson, it was definitely worth a look.

And it goes without saying that both of them are the strongest thing in this; in fact, Hanks merely plays second fiddle to Thompson's utterly wretched and massively entertaining PL Travers. As Brits we're so used to seeing our own get hypnotised by the bright lights of Hollywood so it's instantly refreshing to see someone not only not give a shit, but refuse to give up their painfully British ways while residing on the other side of the pond. And although you pity the poor bastards who have to put up with the stubborn, semi-permed bint, she wins you over the minute she has a go at a woman on the plane with her moaning child; something no doubt everyone on this planet has wanted to do at some point or another.

Still, that doesn't mean Hanks, Colin Farrell (who's still extremely attractive, by the way), Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman et al aren't great, but this is very much Thompson's film, even if the constant flashbacks explaining why she behaves in such a way wears thin very quickly. Saving Mr Banks is perfectly enjoyable even if you don't particular care for the nanny with the stupid hat, but it is kind of hilarious that they've Disneyfied a story about one woman's reluctance to not let Walt Disney Disneyfy her life's work. Pissed.