So I begin my Oscars season of blogs with a film from a man who has won the most Oscars since they awards began, Walt Disney. Although the man himself has long been deceased, his movie studio is stronger than ever and one of the films vying for Oscar success this year is the story of Walt Disney’s obsession with gaining the rights to one of his favourite characters – Mary Poppins.
Disney tried for more than 20 years to obtain the rights to the story and he approached the author of the stories P.L Travers on numerous occasions until he was finally able to persuade her, but she would have a lot of say in how the adaptation be handled. Saving Mr. Banks is the story of how the deal was finally struck and the work that went into making Mary Poppins one of the most enduring film characters of all time.
The movie features some of the finest actors today. Walt Disney is played by Tom Hanks who is looking for yet another Oscar. Whether he gets nominated this year is another matter, but he has doubled up his chances with his starring role in Captain Phillips. The role of Mary Poppins’ author Mrs P.L Travers is played by Emma Thompson and she does it extremely well. Other stars include Paul Giamatti, B.J Novak and Bradley Whitford, and Colin Farrell.
So how is the film doing in the other awards nominations? Well, Emma Thompson has been nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture at this year’s Golden Globes and she has also bagged the same nomination in the Screen Actors Guild Awards. I would be very surprised if she does not get the nod for the Oscar nomination for Best Actress in A Leading Role.
What did I think of the movie? I thought it was a wonderful telling of the story of how one of the finest movies of the modern era ever came into being. The exchanges between Disney and Travers are interspersed with flashbacks from Travers’ own childhood and in particular her time with her father upon who the character of Mr. Banks is clearly based. There are some very funny moments in the film, but at the same time there are also some very moving moments and a tear or two was shed while I watched. I think that the next time I actually see the film Mary Poppins, I will see it in a completely different light now that I know the back story of how it was actually made.
I think that Saving Mr. Banks will make it into the Best Picture category, but I don’t think it will win the statue. I have a feeling that award has been reserved for one of the three films this year that feature main characters who are 1. Black, and 2. part of a true story. I would however have no problem if this movie did win it, I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and have to give it a top mark.
Chances Of Bagging An Oscar: I think Emma Thompson will get a Best Actress nomination and the film may sneak into the Best Picture category, but I think they will fall short of taking the statue home this year.
If you have seen this film, I’d love to hear your comments on it and indeed on this review. More Oscar reviews coming very soon.