Saving Mr. Banks Reviews
There's something a little incestuous about a studio making a movie about one of its greatest box office triumphs. But Disney's backstage drama about how its whimsical 1964 kids' classic Mary Poppins came to be is a delight.
Even with Thompson's delectably dyspeptic portrayal of Travers, she'd be a difficult protagonist to root for, were it not for the back story of "Mary Poppins" that "Saving Mr. Banks" is really about.
Beneath Banks' crass self-aggrandizement lies a pretty charming portrait of two overly proud people butting creative heads. Yes, charming. That's what Disney does, and it does it well enough to turn even this condescending pap into something palatable.
The sharper edges of the Disney/Travers relationship, well-documented by various sources, have been rounded off, but the actors suggest what they can, where they can.
The sap doesn't run too thick, although it does run, and the movie certainly has a patented Disney upbeat feel much of the time. It's more a spoonful of sugar than medicine for aging baby boomer's souls.
Saving Mr. Banks is hard to beat as holiday entertainment. Endure the dull melodrama, and give thanks that the sugar in the rest of the film is doled out by the spoonful, not the shovelful.