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Saving Mr. Banks (2013)


kingrat
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I believe that *Saving Mr. Banks* will appeal to many TCM fans, especially those who have seen *Mary Poppins*. This very well-made film wants to make you laugh and make you cry a little, and the characters are well-written. Emma Thompson is terrific as P.L. Travers, and the scenes where the Sherman brothers, wonderfully played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak, and the scriptwriter (Bradley Whitford) desperately try to get her to appreciate their work put a big smile on my face.

 

The film cleverly makes use of the songs from *Mary Poppins*, which we see in the process of creation. The visual design and the costumes are great. I don't know if this is a movie for children--it does deal with the death of a parent--but many TCM fans will enjoy it.

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I got to meet Richard Sherman this summer on a Disney cruise. And everyone was invited to 2 talks Richard Sherman did about working at the Disney Studios. They also showed clips of Savings Mr Banks. They also showed film of Jason Schwartzman and B J Novak giving an impromptu "concert" of some of the Mary Poppins songs. Jason Schwartzman and **** Novak also spent quite a bit of time with Richard Sherman and even spent a day at his house.

 

The Sherman Brothers had hours of audio tapes during their meetings with P L Travers and they also played a bit of the tapes.

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know I was impressed with the clips I had seen.

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>I believe that Saving Mr. Banks will appeal to many TCM fans

 

Not this one.

It has cr*p written all over it; from the cheesy title to unimaginative subject with the added handicap of talentless Tom Hanks...

 

I know, I shouldn't judge before seeing it..but I also knew ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE KILLER would be dreadful.

 

Did you not see the thread in this forum already discussing this weeks ago?

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>You never did explain your militant dislike of this man, Tiki.

 

I have, but I suppose too long ago for most to remember. I used to feel exactly the same way about Kevin Costner and would be blasted for it until others kind of realized it too.

 

Tom Hanks started out as a "cute guy", and generally likable when the writing and directing carried the film. Well, now he's not so cute and he truly needs better support to make his acting successful.

 

A perfect example is APOLLO 13 where everyone else's acting completely outshines Hanks, and believe you me, I never would have thought I'd be impressed with Kevin Bacon, but I am.

 

I know people who have worked with Hanks on films, and they all see it too. In fact, they have extremely unflattering things to say about his acting, but it's not really fair to repeat.

 

I just find him wooden and not believable. Everyone relates to actors that emphasize their role by using facial expressions, their body and voice. Hanks just seems to stand there, seemingly resting on his past laurels and it just doesn't work for me.

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I agree with you to a certain extent about his acting. However as much as you seem to dislike him, he has appeared in several very well made films over the years. The films where I thought his acting was average or above were the following:

 

Big 1988

A League of Their Own 1992

Philadelphia 1993

Sleepless in Seattle 1993

Forrest Gump 1994

You've Got Mail 1998

Saving Private Ryan 1998

The Green Mile 1999

Cast Away 2000

Charlie Wilson's War 2007

Captain Phillips 2013*

 

I have not seen his performance in Captain Phillips, but I hear he is pretty good in that. He is getting a lot of Oscar talk about his portrayal in that film however. And I understand that most people could care less about the Oscars, but they are the cream of the top of awards, those and the Screen Actor Guild Awards.

 

And I have written this before but I also think that Hanks has turned into a fine director and even more importantly producer.

 

He has I think elevated United States History to a new and astonishingly high level for all audiences with his From the Earth to the Moon 1998, Band of Brothers 2001, John Adams 2008, and The Pacific 2010. And apparently he is in the early stages of producing two additional historical epic series for HBO, one about boxer Jack Johnson and another epic WWII mini series based on Donald Miller's "Masters of the Air". This mini series will explore the aerial wars through the eyes of enlisted men of the Eighth Air Force. Think 12 O'Clock High, or Command Decision and Memphis Belle, but stretched towards 8 to 12 hours, telling the complete story of how the Eight Air Force started fighting over the skies of France in 1942.

 

Now if only he and Spielberg could produce mini series about the US Navy in the War of 1812, and in WWII, maybe following the exploits of a single ships like the USS Constitution or the USS Enterprise, CV-6, the most decorated ship of the US Navy during WWII.

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>I believe that Saving Mr. Banks will appeal to many TCM fans, especially those who have seen Mary Poppins. This very well-made film wants to make you laugh and make you cry a little, and the characters are well-written. Emma Thompson is terrific as P.L. Travers, and the scenes where the Sherman brothers, wonderfully played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak, and the scriptwriter (Bradley Whitford) desperately try to get her to appreciate their work put a big smile on my face. ...

 

I couldn't agee more -- this is a very good movie that many TCM fans will enjoy. I saw SAVING MR. BANKS a couple days ago, and was surprised at how much I liked it.

 

Now, I started out thinking it sounded like an interesting subject, and unlike others, I don't mind Tom Hanks and do like Emma Thompson.

 

But for some reason, I didn't have particularly high expectations. I was expecting something more "matter of fact" that was an interesting slice of Hollywood history.

 

It's actually a very emotionally affecting film. There are a number of flashbacks that, without being tedious or getting in the way of the "present day" story, explain why P.L. Travers was so strongly protective of her characters, resisting Walt Disney's overtures for two decades before agreeing to a film that was mostly on her own terms. Travers, not Disney, is the hero of the film, making clear that much of what kept MARY POPPINS from being overly syrupy came from her. Disney did deserve credit for persevering, so he played an important role, too, of course.

 

And as for the title, SAVING MR. BANKS -- it gave me a perspective on the original movie that I'd never had, even though it was the first movie I ever saw more than once (during its original release, when I was a youngster) and have seen many times since. Like others, I thought of it as a story of the title character "saving" the Banks children. It's now obvious that the title of this new movie is the more accurate description of the story, importantly so.

 

Anyway, if you have an open mind about the film and the actors, go -- it's quite a good movie.

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>I believe that Saving Mr. Banks will appeal to many TCM fans, especially those who have seen Mary Poppins. This very well-made film wants to make you laugh and make you cry a little, and the characters are well-written. Emma Thompson is terrific as P.L. Travers, and the scenes where the Sherman brothers, wonderfully played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak, and the scriptwriter (Bradley Whitford) desperately try to get her to appreciate their work put a big smile on my face. ...

 

I couldn't agee more -- this is a very good movie that many TCM fans will enjoy. I saw SAVING MR. BANKS a couple days ago, and was surprised at how much I liked it.

 

Now, I started out thinking it sounded like an interesting subject, and unlike others, I don't mind Tom Hanks and do like Emma Thompson.

 

But for some reason, I didn't have particularly high expectations. I was expecting something more "matter of fact" that was an interesting slice of Hollywood history.

 

It's actually a very emotionally affecting film. There are a number of flashbacks that, without being tedious or getting in the way of the "present day" story, explain why P.L. Travers was so strongly protective of her characters, resisting Walt Disney's overtures for two decades before agreeing to a film that was mostly on her own terms. Travers, not Disney, is the hero of the film, making clear that much of what kept MARY POPPINS from being overly syrupy came from her. Disney did deserve credit for persevering, so he played an important role, too, of course.

 

And as for the title, SAVING MR. BANKS -- it gave me a perspective on the original movie that I'd never had, even though it was the first movie I ever saw more than once (during its original release, when I was a youngster) and have seen many times since. Like others, I thought of it as a story of the title character "saving" the Banks children. It's now obvious that the title of this new movie is the more accurate description of the story, importantly so.

 

Anyway, if you have an open mind about the film and the actors, go -- it's quite a good movie.

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>I believe that Saving Mr. Banks will appeal to many TCM fans, especially those who have seen Mary Poppins. This very well-made film wants to make you laugh and make you cry a little, and the characters are well-written. Emma Thompson is terrific as P.L. Travers, and the scenes where the Sherman brothers, wonderfully played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak, and the scriptwriter (Bradley Whitford) desperately try to get her to appreciate their work put a big smile on my face. ...

 

I couldn't agee more -- this is a very good movie that many TCM fans will enjoy. I saw SAVING MR. BANKS a couple days ago, and was surprised at how much I liked it.

 

Now, I started out thinking it sounded like an interesting subject, and unlike others, I don't mind Tom Hanks and do like Emma Thompson.

 

But for some reason, I didn't have particularly high expectations. I was expecting something more "matter of fact" that was an interesting slice of Hollywood history.

 

It's actually a very emotionally affecting film. There are a number of flashbacks that, without being tedious or getting in the way of the "present day" story, explain why P.L. Travers was so strongly protective of her characters, resisting Walt Disney's overtures for two decades before agreeing to a film that was mostly on her own terms. Travers, not Disney, is the hero of the film, making clear that much of what kept MARY POPPINS from being overly syrupy came from her. Disney did deserve credit for persevering, so he played an important role, too, of course.

 

And as for the title, SAVING MR. BANKS -- it gave me a perspective on the original movie that I'd never had, even though it was the first movie I ever saw more than once (during its original release, when I was a youngster) and have seen many times since. Like others, I thought of it as a story of the title character "saving" the Banks children. It's now obvious that the title of this new movie is the more accurate description of the story, importantly so.

 

Anyway, if you have an open mind about the film and the actors, go -- it's quite a good movie.

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Bingfan--I enjoyed it too. There were several moments that had me rolling my eyes, but the ending brought me to tears, even if it was a little contrived (and possibly entirely made up).

 

And Tikisoo--Hanks wasn't bad as Disney. He played him as a sort of charming, fake-folksy, manipulative man determined to get what he wanted and it worked. He lost his Missouri accent a few times, but to me that just added to the "performance" Disney was putting on for Travers.

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>However as much as you seem to dislike him, he has appeared in several very well made films over the years.

 

And that's the point fx -Hanks does not have enough talent (or maybe he just has given up trying) to elevate a not-so-good film, but a well made film elevates his performance.

 

Wasn't he in SPLASH too? He was pretty lovable in that one. But again, when you're young & cute, a pouty lip & puzzled expression may be all you need to get by on screen.

 

I hated SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and hated GUMP even more and it was then I realized Hank's lacking acting ability and started avoiding anything (avoid, not refuse!) where he is the principle lead.

 

Gawd just sit through THE DIVINCI CODE and you'll see what I'm talking about.

 

As for "Oscar talk" don't you realize it's just another promotional tool?

 

But I will see "Banks" when it comes to my library on DVD a year from now, only because I am fascinated by Disney, the man. And boy, will I be thrilled if it brings this old, often told story to life.

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> And that's the point fx -Hanks does not have enough talent (or maybe he just has given up trying) to elevate a not-so-good film, but a well made film elevates his performance.

 

Well, Tiki, this is your opinion. And you have every right to have this opinion. I think he is a fine actor, maybe not on a par with DeNiro, Pacino, Hopkins, and others, but he has carved out a nice career where mediocrity has been accepted. Personally, even though I like Gump and Philadelphia, in 1994 when he won the Oscar for Gump, I thought Samuel L. Jackson should have won for Pulp Fiction. In 1993 his win for Philadelphia was more inspired I think because he was playing a gay character, and Hollywood just loves this segment and that is why he won that year. Although I maintain that Anthony Hopkins should have won for The Remains of the Day.

 

So two Oscar wins were really for average acting. I think his best portrayal was in Big and Cast Away. Those should have garnered him at least one Academy Award. Nothing else he has done has been up to that challenge. For some reason in Hollywood he is likened to Jimmy Stewart, but he is in no way any equal to Stewart.

 

He just happened to come along at the right time and appear in a lot of very popular films.

 

> As for "Oscar talk" don't you realize it's just another promotional tool? But I will see "Banks" when it comes to my library on DVD a year from now, only because I am fascinated by Disney, the man. And boy, will I be thrilled if it brings this old, often told story to life.

 

Of course it is. But until he is nominated it does not really matter. People will go see him because for some they enjoy the films he appears in. I would go as well, just can not afford it right now. So I will wait just like you will. As far as Saving Mr. Banks is concerned. I am not really sure if the story really has been told before, has it?

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Thanks for the thoughtful response, reyman. I'm glad we can both HAVE and respect opposing opinions. I know many people think Hank's is the bees knees and I usually just "eye roll" (always gets a laugh from the kid)

 

Wow do I love THIS line of yours!

>he has carved out a nice career where mediocrity has been accepted.

...and this:

>He just happened to come along at the right time and appear in a lot of very popular films.

 

I guess that's what really sticks in my craw about Hanks....I don't really hate him I just think he's over-rated. He often seems to be sleepwalking through his roles.

 

>For some reason in Hollywood he is likened to Jimmy Stewart, but he is in no way any equal to Stewart.

 

I think that's Hank's publicist's doing.

LIFE magazine did a cover story "Hollywood 1939*1989 Today's Stars Meet The Screen Legends". It compares Tom Hanks to Jimmy Stewart by saying he's "America's everyman".

 

But what sets Stewart above is whenever you see him in a movie, you are always aware you are watching Jimmy Stewart. His ACTING pulls you through the story anyway, making you believe all that is really happening to him. His acting is greater than his persona.

 

When I see Tom Hanks "acting" I see disbelief in his own eyes, as if he's the Emperor in New Clothes trying to convince us when he doesn't believe it himself!

 

I can find other actors wooden, like Joel McCrea or Gary Cooper, but they believe in their acting and their "style" is just underplaying.

(BTW, in that issue Kevin Costner is compared to Joel McCrea!)

 

And as you said, it's just my opinion....but look at how easily that is twisted into "hatred" on a message board.

Thanks for allowing me to explain.

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I can appreciate your frustration and dismay, Tiki, when it comes to NOT liking actors and actresses everyone else seems to ADORE. We too, are on the same page about Costner. I mean, I DID like a couple of his efforts( FIELD OF DREAMS, OPEN RANGE), but usually he leaves me as lifeless as his narration. He CAN'T narrate worth a damn. I've heard better recitation by the class dunce in high school.

 

Everybody knows by now I'm no fan of ADOLPH MENJOU, although many here are enraptured. Same goes for MARLENE DIETRICH, PAT O'BRIEN, RANDOLPH SCOTT, BARBARA STANWYCK, AVA GARDNER, and many others. I also seem to LIKE many others that some people don't.

 

Sepiatone

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While I'm not inclined to think of Tom Hanks as the bee's knees, I definitely think he has his moments. I think part of what bothers you is that he's one of those "bankable" stars who gets trotted out in "event" movie after "event" movie and you'd probably rather decide for yourself which movies are events and which aren't. "Good Morning America" gushes, People Magazine loves it and all of a sudden everyone's being herded into a theater, right? Or maybe that's just me, but I've missed a lot of his recent output for that reason. It probably says a lot that I'm reaching so far back, but one of my favorite movies of his is "Nothing In Common" with Jackie Gleason and Eva Marie Saint. He costarred with two old pros and more than held his own. And that's the point I want to raise: he can COstar. He costars admirably with Emma Thompson and really lets it be her film to the degree that it needs to be. You mentioned not liking him in "Sleepless In Seattle", but to me his believable relationship with his young son is what saved it. The thing which struck me most, and the reason I'm responding at all, was your saying that you could see in his eyes that he doesn't believe in his own acting. You're certainly entitled to feel that way, but surely an intelligent person like you has to admit how completely subjective that is. To support it you're saying that Jimmy Stewart's acting is greater than his persona, but then in the case of Joel McCrea and Gary Cooper, you're saying their personas are what makes up for what could be seen as wooden acting. If it can work both ways, maybe Hanks deserves more of a break from you?......I know, I know. The eye roll. Oh well. I tried.

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Yeah, yeah...but I think we can ALL agree that George Raft was THE most wooden actor of 'em ALL, right?! LOL

 

(...and btw Sepia, and regarding Stanwyck...ya know, for years I wondered what all the hubbub was about her, however the more I watch her in her films that TCM shows quite a lot of, the more I find myself discovering how truly great a film actress she was)

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Saving Mr. Banks is wonderful. I think folks are making a mistake by believing it's Hanks' film. Hanks is providing an amiable characterization of Disney, but it's Emma's show all the way. Also, great ensemble casting -- Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, et al. But the backstory, from the child's eye view, and Emma who is by turns prickly, funny, but revealing some powerful and painful emotions, make the film. I wept with her when she was at the premiere. At this point, I think I'd buy a ticket just to watch her read the phone book. Give this lady another 20 years, and she'll be the next Maggie Smith.

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Emma is already there, and in many ways has already established herself at playing all sorts of parts. Plus she is an accomplished writer now as well. No one else in Academy Award history has won an Oscar for both acting and writing.

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I agree that Emma is 'already there' and has been for a while. This makes her comments about Audrey Hepburn and My Fair Lady all the more relevant.

 

i.e. it wasn't just some young no talent actress that made those comments it was someone that is one of the best actresses of her generation (IMO). Hey, that doesn't mean that Emma was right in what she said, only that an opinion of a fellow actress but someone with Emma resume carries more weight.

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> (...and btw Sepia, and regarding Stanwyck...ya know, for years I wondered what all the hubbub was about her, however the more I watch her in her films that TCM shows quite a lot of, the more I find myself discovering how truly great a film actress she was)

 

Like it's been stated over and over again, it's all a matter of opinion. Sure, Babs had the chops, but to me they weren't exceptional. And I do have to admit she was in many movies I truly enjoyed. But it's hardly cause for me to shout her name from the rooftops. Still, rest assured I DON'T hate her, at least NOT on the same level that Tiki hates Tom Hanks.

 

And in my opinion, the most wooden actor I've seen in movies was CHARLIE McCARTHY! ;)

 

Sepiatone

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I have to agree with you Kingrat. I do think that this movie will appeal to many TCM fans. Thanks for mentioning it.

 

And I stayed to watch all the credits too. And listened to a portion of the tape recording of P L Travers discussing the movie.

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while I haven't seen the film yet, I understand it's mostly about Travers & the making of "Mary Poppins", a film I grew up with and admired.

M. Streep (a respected & award-winning actress) took the occasion of giving an award to Ms. Thompson, to call out Disney for his alleged past prejudices.

see here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-meryl-streep-disney-sexist-anti-semitic-20140108,0,7038803.story

 

so what do you all think??

 

P.S. "Presumably, Streep's grudge against Disney isn't insurmountable, as she is set to appear in the upcoming Disney film "Into the Woods," based on the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical."

 

Edited by: mr6666 on Jan 8, 2014 7:02 PM

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