Online Film Critics Society

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Reviews: Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

saving_mr_banksReviews for this film from our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: E’ cinema old style, familiare: quello per cui Hollywood era famosa, molto tempo fa…
  • [New – 5/15/14] | Dragan Antulov @ Draxblog VI [Croatian]
  • Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan
    • Excerpt: Saving Mr. Banks is part backstage story, part psychological exploration, and on the whole well-crafted (despite really holding more than what perhaps it aspires to).
  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: La historia de cómo Walt Disney convenció a P.L. Travers para adaptar al cine “Mary Poppins” se desequilibra por la flojera del director John Lee Hancock, aunque mantiene el tono gracias al trabajo de sus actores y una puesta en escena limpia.
  • Edwin Arnaudin @ Ashvegas
    • Excerpt: The film, however, is wholly Thompson’s and she reigns over its proceedings like the legendary performer she is. There’s an immense pleasure in watching her iceberg demeanor slowly melt while still retaining a good deal of its original shape, whether that be in her casual chats with kind chauffeur Ralph (Paul Giamatti) or in growing to accept the formerly appalling ideas of DaGradi and the Shermans.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: The story of a Magic Mogul who helped a sad woman overcome her Daddy Issues, and, while they’re at it, of how a multinational corporation crushed an idiosyncratic artist (for her own good!). It also may be the most self-congratulatory bit of hagiography Hollywood has ever produced, and that’s saying something.
  • Chris Barsanti @ PopMatters
    • Excerpt: P.L. Travers would have hated this charming revisionist tearjerker, but then she didn’t think her Mary Poppins should have been a musical.
  • Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com
    • Excerpt: After the sentimental tripe that was “The Blind Side”, I expected more of “Saving” to take a feel-good, saccharine route. I’m pleased it does not and, overall, quite pleased with the film.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: Entertaining story of the tenderizing of a critical and persnickety writer.
  • Daniel Carlson @ Pajiba
  • Bill Clark @ FromTheBalcony
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Emma Thompson, all frown lines and tight perm, is terrific as Travers, cutting and brusque on the outside, vulnerable to those who make the effort to look deeper.
  • Edwin Davies @ A Mighty Fine Blog
    • Excerpt: She’s afraid that if she signs the rights to Disney, and if he in turn makes a film out of her books, that he will turn Mary Poppins into a cartoon, a creature that is all sparkle and whimsy, with all the rough edges sanded off and darkness removed. While watching John Lee Hancock’s film, it’s easy to imagine the real Travers tutting ruefully as the corporation that bears Disney’s name does to her own life what she feared Walt himself would do to Mary Poppins.
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: …one of the most heartrending yet accurate portrayals of the effect unchecked alcoholism can have on the family members who it touches.
  • Carlos del Río @ El rincón de Carlos del Río [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Supercalifragilisticoespialidosamente buena.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: “Saving Mr. Banks” is a vastly less sentimental movie than it looks. The movie’s golden glow is like the proverbial spoonful of sugar, helping the medicine go down.
  • Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: There’s plenty in the film that is worthy of mistrust, but Saving Mr. Banks … offers a valuable look inside the difficulties of the collaborative creative process.
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • Dustin Freeley @ MoviesAboutGladiators.com
    • Excerpt: The story of how Mary Poppins become a movie with a spoonful of whimsy and a bit of propaganda.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Irresistibly enchanting, high-spirited fun
  • Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • Phil Hall @ Film Threat
    • Excerpt: Sadly, audiences have to swallow more than a spoonful of sugar to digest this blatantly phony movie.
  • John Hanlon @ JohnHanlonReviews.com
    • Excerpt: A magical experience, this well-written comedy will delight and entertain audiences everywhere.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: It’s easy to scoff at P.L. Travers because Mary Poppins the movie is now an acknowledged classic. However the script intelligently presents why Travers resisted the Disneyfication of a beloved story based on her childhood.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A smart, snappy, soulful look at how Mary Poppins got Disneyfied, and the redemptive power of story for both teller and listener.
  • Daniel Kelly @ Danland Movies
    • Excerpt: Hancock is a director prone to both cloying sentiment and pacing misjudgements, but on this occasion neither offends egregiously.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Based on the tape recordings of the real Travers, she might have been a toughie on the whimsically sentimental and non-cynical “Saving Mr. Banks,” but Walt, himself, would have embraced it with loving arms. You will, too.
  • Stacia Kissick Jones @ Spectrum Culture Online
  • Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight
    • Excerpt: Mary Poppins was one of the most successful films ever made and remains a treasure to many generations of filmgoers. There was a time when the film almost never was, Saving Mr. Banks tells that story, but digs beyond that narrative into the heart of a mournful daughter
  • Piers Marchant @ Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
  • Jason McKiernan @ Film Racket
    • Excerpt: …what’s most unfortunate is that the film’s true inspiration — the reluctant and curmudgeonly author of the source material — is presented as a redundant shrew in need of taming by everyone’s favorite uncle, Walt Disney.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: The studio’s laughing all the way to the Banks on this one…
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: A delightfully Disneyfied look at the adaptation process.
  • Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee
  • Frank Ochieng @ Focus of New York Magazine
    • Excerpt: One cannot go wrong this holiday season when checking out the moving and festive Saving Mr. Banks, a spirited biopic that rises to the occasion because its pulse thrives on what it knows best—the creative process behind movie-making.
  • James Plath @ Family Home Theater
    • Excerpt: If you like Disney’s live-action/animated musical Mary Poppins, odds are you’ll enjoy seeing the curtain parted to show Disney and his writing and songwriting team wooing Travers.
  • Nuno Reis @ Antestreia [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: Agrada a miúdos e graúdos com uma estória de várias leituras, é o melhor conto de fadas em imagem real desde “Enchanted”.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: Yes, this is the movie about how Walt Disney coaxed a very iron-willed Pamela “P.L.” Travers to sell him the rights to film her first “Mary Poppins” book, but it turns out to be about much more than just the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, it also it also tells a parallel story that tries to explain Travers reluctance.
  • Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: Surely, the arrival of Walt Disney in a dramatic film should have felt more magical, and that’s a hard one to swallow…spoonful of sugar and all.
  • Stephen Silver @ EntertainmentTell
    • Excerpt: blatant Oscar bait, aimed at the aging, Old Hollywood-idealizing demographics of the Academy Awards electorate.
  • Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: A tailor-made Hollywood crowd-pleaser, “Saving Mr. Banks” deploys as much fantasy as fact in telling Walt Disney’s tenacious efforts to transform “Mary Poppins” into a movie — with the necessary approval of its popular children’s book author.
  • Josh Spiegel @ Sound on Sight
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Viewers should respond with affection to this slickly manipulative crowd-pleaser.
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: The most captivating movie of the year for me.
  • Mel Valentin @ VeryAware.com
    • Excerpt: Polishing the Disney brand by revising history.
  • Phil Villarreal @ COED.com
    • Excerpt: it does skew far darker than I ever could have hoped for, and in that way ends up becoming something halfway profound.
  • Ron Wilkinson @ MonstersandCritics.com
    • Excerpt: A thoroughly entertaining story of the trauma and drama that spawned the Mary Poppins story and the Disney touch that brought it to the screen.
  • Amber Wilkinson @ Eye For Film
    • Excerpt: The end result, though well-mounted and featuring knock-the-soot-out-of-your-chimney performances from Emma Thompson as Travers and Tom Hanks as the movie mogul, feels more like a Disney theme park version of events than the real story.
Updated: July 16, 2015 — 9:29 pm

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