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Generally favorable reviews- based on 216 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 8 out of 216

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  1. May 30, 2014
    First of all, it is an absurd travesty to exclude Emma Thompson in the BEST LEADING ACTRESS nomination list this year by the Academy members, she campaigned rather hard in the awards season, she is a revered two-times winner and the film is exhaustively friendly towards the academy members, considering FINDING NEVERLAND (2004, 7/10), the story behind another children classic Peter Pan. And most essentially, she is at the top of her game in depicting a quite unlikeable character, the high and mighty spinster P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins books.

    continue to read my review on my blog, google cinema omnivore, thanks
  2. May 27, 2014
    I thought I was going to hate having to watch this film. Like Mary Poppins this is not a fictional film. My partner and I both really enjoyed this charmingly easy going movie.
  3. May 14, 2014
    Amazing performances of all the actors––if you're a fan of any of them, I would recommend watching this film. Otherwise, however, I find the film predictable and somewhat cliché, lacking of interesting dialogue and imaginative ways to portray this true story. My other objection is that the real life situation has been significantly altered, which isn't a bad thing unless you can really notice it while watching the movie, like I did. Expand
  4. May 2, 2014
    A real treat for anyone who has love for the Mary Poppins movie. It tells the story of how the making of the movie took place, as well as the backstory behind the original Mary Poppins book. With a healthy mix of humor and emotion throughout, it manages to be a consistently enjoyable experience. It's also exceptionally well-cast. Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, and the rest of the cast give fantastic performances.

    Just like the best Disney films, Mary Poppins included, this is a movie that has the potential to touch your heart. I know it did mine. Even if you do not have any sort of particular love for the Mary Poppins film this is still worth a watch. It's truly exceptional. I give it a near-perfect score of 9.9/10.
  5. Apr 20, 2014
    It was great seeing how P.L. Travers and Walt Disney conflicted over how to bring her novel to the big screen. The excellent performances by Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks helped make this movie what it is.

    The story progression is also something i enjoyed. I liked seeing a glimpse from P.L.'s past every now and then, and how it relates to her conflict with Disney.

    It's a sentimental,
    touching, and charming film about being at peace with your past. Expand
  6. Apr 13, 2014
    Going in, I was expecting something completely different from what the movie was. And what it was, was entertaining with some real depth and stellar performances.

    Mrs, Travers' character for the movie was perhaps written a bit too much like a lonely old shrew. It made it very hard to sympathize with her and her motives. But Emma Thomson played her well and did manage to convey the
    story's intent. Hanks does a decent job playing Disney, but I feel he is perhaps a bit too high profile and it was a little hard not seeing him as Tom Hanks. Still, I think he did fantastic job and delivered a memorable performance.

    In many ways I felt this movie indirectly villainized Mrs. Travers's character and portrayed her far too harshly. Granted the back story does clarify this, but by the time the reveal it, it was hard to be understanding. Disney, on the other hand, seems to be glorified and portrayed in the most flattering way possible.

    As a whole, the movie tells a deep and moving story of how Disney's Mary Poppins came to be, and I'll be honest, I actually cried a little at one point.

    But, the whole time through, this movie felt like one big tribute to Walt Disney and the vilifying of P.T. Travers at the same time. Granted it is done very subtly and with utmost care not to cross any lines, it still comes across as a publicity stunt. Might as well of renamed the movie: Walt Disney's adventures with the wicked author down under.
  7. Mar 31, 2014
    A great movie you gonna love it and if you love mary popins you gonna love this movie.
    I am sad that Emma Thompson she's no nominated from the oscars, and tom hanks they have to nominate in the oscars this movie is greatful.
  8. Mar 29, 2014
    Saving Mr. Banks is an excellent film. It contains a lot of heart and soul and I really liked it. I liked the acting and locations in this film; Tom Hanks did a great job playing Walt Disney and Emma Thompson did a great job playing P.L. Travers. The only problem I have in this movie were some of the errors in this film like there are a few things you'll see in this movie that may have been after it's time like in the Disneyland scenes, I may have seen an attraction or two that may have not been open yet. But if you ignore those errors, you will find Saving Mr. Banks to be a very good movie that tells the story of the making of Mary Poppins. Expand
  9. Mar 23, 2014
    i thought this movie was terrible . but then i was wrong because its kinda enjoyable and so was emma thompson . this movie was heartbreaking like philonema . but its okay
    Grade A
  10. Mar 21, 2014
    Saving Mr Banks is one of the better movies that have come to theaters. It was nice to see a brilliant tale which is spiced with humor and emotional moments and topped of with brilliant acting. The film starts of a little slowly and is hard to follow for someone who hasn't seen Mary Poppins but it picks up pace as the movie goes along. There is flashback of the authors life and how it influenced her books and how it affects her outlook. The acting was brilliant as expected from Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Collin Farrell but the little kid who plays Ginty was also phenomenal in the movie.
    So all in all Saving Mr Banks is a very nice movie for critics and commoners equally.
  11. Mar 21, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I remember when I went to the cinema to watch this when it first came out; I was absolutely blown away by it, Tom Hanks pulled of an amazing performance as well as Emma Thompson. Not enough credit has been given to this film which is such a shame.

    If you are a fan of Mary Poppins, this is a must, and if your not, it's still a fascinating insight into one woman's love of her work, and how much it means to her.

    I highly recommend this.
  12. Mar 20, 2014
    I have to say I really was surprised by this movie. It was done very well and i enjoyed it. It has some deep emotions to it. Not just the story of Mary Poppins
  13. Mar 19, 2014
    La genesi di ‘Mary Poppins’, film amato da generazioni di ragazzi in tutto il mondo (ma non dal sottoscritto), fu lunga e travagliata: non tanto perchè fu il primo lungometraggio disneyano con attori in carne e ossa, quanto per i bastoni messi tra le ruote da P.L. Travers, la scrittrice britannica autrice dei libri dedicati alla supergovernante. Il corteggiamento per avere i diritti richiese molto tempo e i paletti messi dalla scrittrice per la trasposizione – no al musical, no all’animazione, no al rosso – furono infine forzati da Walt in persona vincendo la scommessa commerciale, ma assicurandosi il risentimento a vita della donna. Il film racconta questo lungo lavoro di convincimento (e un po’ di coercizione), concentrandosi principalmente sulla trasferta hollywoodiana di Travers, che si ritrova catapultata in un mondo che non capisce – o che si rifiuta di capire – con quasi solo l’eccezione del rapporto che nasce con l’occhialuto autista Ralph. In parallelo, c’è la narrazione della genesi autobiografica di ‘Mary Poppins’ attraverso i flashback che illustrano il tenero rapporto dell’autrice con il padre durante la di lui discesa verso la rovina e la morte nell’Outback australiano: la rivolta del signor Banks – il padre dei ragazzi affidati a Mary – è la rivincita regalata al proprio genitore per interposto personaggio. Questo doppio binario è il punto debole più evidente della pellicola: il dramma che si svolge nei ricordi mal si combina con il tono in prevalenza di commedia del filone principale anche perché la rappresentazione è di maniera, malgrado la fotografia da cartolina (John Schwartzman è il responsabile della parte visiva) e le sentite interpretazioni di Colin Farrell e della giovane Annie Rose Buckley. Lascia poi perplessi che la sceneggiatura (di Kelly Marcel e Sue Smith) tratti in modo così frettoloso la figura di zia Ellie (Rachel Griffiths), che sta alla base della figura di Mary Poppins, anche se non riesce a ‘mettere a posto le cose’: ben diversi sono il ritmo e la godibilità della narrazione al ‘presente’, dove la bravura degli attori e la possibilità di giocare con le situazioni più contrastate aiutano ad alzare il livello in modo considerevole. Il lavoro quotidiano della costruzione del film – le musiche, l’animazione, le caratteristiche dei personaggi (dal signor Banks alla discussione sul nome da dare a sua moglie) – si scontra con i dubbi di Travers, ma è costantemente supportato dall’incoraggiamento e dalla partecipazione di Walt in persona. Ovviamente il tutto è edulcorato, ma sarebbe anche stato difficile pretendere che un film disneyano parlasse male del padre fondatore, e c’è qualche forzatura che però migliora la resa drammatica (Disney non andò mai in Inghilterra per convincere la riottosa controparte, ma la telefonata reale avrebbe avuto molta meno efficacia sullo schermo), ma in questa parte il film sa coinvolgere fino a culminare nella scena madre della prima proiezione. Lo stesso Hancock che filma in modo abbastanza banale il segmento australiano sembra trovare qui un’altra sensibilità, come se fosse più in sintonia con questi momenti: di certo, come già detto, lo aiutano una scrittura più serrata e un cast di notevole sicurezza. Circondati da impeccabili professionisti fra i quali spicca l’umanità dolente che Paul Giamatti regala a Ralph, Thompson e Hanks interpretano con grande finezza i personaggi principali interagendo con classe ed evitando di prevaricare. L’attrice inglese riesce a restituire appieno la figura di una donna scorbutica e fragile (scorbutica perché fragile), mentre Hanks si cala a fondo nei panni di un Walt non si sa quanto vicino a quello reale – l’attore è riuscito però a imporre un accenno al fumo che il vero Disney negò sempre in pubblico – ma che, con quella voce calda e suadente, avrebbe convinto anche i sassi. Expand
  14. Mar 4, 2014
    Solid acting by the cast and the story was certainly interesting as well. Really depressing though and not as light-hearted as I thought it would be. Not enough Tom Hanks either. Still a solid movie overall though.
  15. Mar 4, 2014
    This is not the first time I saw a movie about the behind the making of a masterpiece works. Recent 'Hitchcock' described 'the man of mystery', Alfred Hitchcock's career best movie 'Psycho'. Johnny Depp's 'Finding Neverland' tells about behind the creation of a magical land and Peter Pan. So there are many other movies about theme like this. This movie is as well based on such kinda story which unleashes creation of the
    most celebrated musical-children movie 'Mary Poppins' from its book.

    Characters like the author of 'Mary Poppins' book, Travers played by
    Emma Thompson and Walt Disney played by Tom Hanks filled the screen
    with interesting moments of history. Especially the cultural
    differences between two countries, England and United States brought
    lots of humorous scenes to us. The story telling splits into two where
    one briefs the author's real life incident when she was a child lived
    in Australia. And another one was about Walt Disney's struggle by the
    threats from Travers, while being adapted the book into a movie.

    Both the characters, Travers and Disney had an uncompromising
    relationship in the story. Where Travers was fighting not to go wrong
    in the movie adaptation because the characters from her book means a
    lot to her. On the other hand, Disney's fight to keep what he promised
    to his children to make a movie from their favourite book.

    One of the best movie of the year. Tom Hanks was okay in a role of
    'father of animation'. But I was impressed with the Emma Thompson and
    also the Collin Ferrell. Paul Giamatti's role was small but wonderfully
    portrayed. No wonder why this movie got nominated for 2014 Oscar in the
    music section. Was expecting it to win but failed to do, so sad.
  16. Feb 22, 2014
    Saving Mr. Banks es una película que merece ser vista ¿Por qué? Primero y principal está creada con un gran corazón y, luego las interpretaciones de Emma Thompson (como la escritora del libro "Mary Poppins") y Tom Hanks (como Walt Disney); dos poderosas actuaciones que iluminan esta película y la hace brillar. También la historia se hace respetar dando a lo largo de la película estrictas enseñanzas y, a veces traerá recuerdos de nuestra infancia. Es por eso que Disney a creado un proyecto mágico y muy entretenido para que la gente descubra lo maravilloso que era trabajar tras las cámaras con Walt Disney y P.L. Travels mientras el rodaje de "Mary Poppins". Expand
  17. Feb 10, 2014
    It's a good movie, and Tom Hanks' portrayal of Walt Disney is really excellent. I also liked the little girl playing young Helen; her face was so expressive and her performance so natural that you sort of forgot she turns into Emma Thompson. I am conflicted about Thompson's portrayal of P. L. Travers. She plays such an unpleasant person (psychological damage notwithstanding) that it's hard to get past that. On the other hand, by all accounts Travers was unpleasant and hard-to-get-along-with so Thompson obviously did a good job as the actor portraying her. It takes all the way through the movie to get the title but having had it explained to me, I thought it was actually well chosen. I think it is worth seeing but is not a top favourite. Expand
  18. Feb 6, 2014
    Best movie ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
  19. Feb 6, 2014
    Quite obviously an extremely biased film posing as historical, which I find condescending given the fact this is a Disney picture. Given that we know this going into the film we should not be surprised by the bombardment of schmaltz we receive. Personally I found this irritating and far from palatable which would leave me to give it a 5.5 on personal grounds, however on the Poe Scale it receives a 6.5 it would have been a seven, but through out the picture you cannot help but feel that the Disney corporation is forcing the actors to hold back.
    Acting: 1.5/2
    Cinematography: 1.5/2
    Editing: 1/2
    Effects and Design 1.5/2
    Writing: 1/2
  20. Feb 5, 2014
    A very interesting movie indeed!
    Adding to that, that the actors are superb, makes this a must see film.
    Only thing, bear in mind that this is not a mostly comedy as it seemed from the trailers.
  21. Feb 2, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Didn't think I would enjoy it but its such a good script, every actor did so well in this movie. The plot is so nice those flashbacks she has fit in very well and dont spoil the story. She seems very stuck up at the start of this movie but you start to understand why it makes you feel more for the story of mary poppins which is what i liked the most. its fun to enjoy and made me laugh great to watch/ Expand
  22. Jan 25, 2014
    Even with its overly treacly antics and its occasionally jarring narrative structure, "Saving Mr. Banks" still entertains to the fullest extent of the word, with lots of laughs, tears, great performances from every member of the cast, and yet another stellar score from Thomas Newman.
  23. Jan 25, 2014
    A pleasant surprise in the magic Christmas movie of season, and having to celebrate it's history is pure beauty. Everyone no matter the age can reflect to their childhood and emote a connection here. Saving Mr Banks hits you with it's subject matter lead by the spirited performance from Collin Farrell who is good in everything he is in.
  24. Jan 25, 2014
    The film tells the story of P.L Travers. We follow two narratives_ one of which is a fictionalized account of the writer's childhood in Australia, the other one is about Walt Disney's attempt to have the writer approve of his adaptation of her book and thus sign away her rights.

    Emma Thompson plays Travers with a dry British humour. She is sarcastic and cynical, retorting with witty
    remarks at every opportunity. Everyone else goes along with it because they need what is hers. She is less than enthusiastic about having her book adapted and has her doubts about the intentions of Disney's company to stay true to the source material.

    Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney, a magnate with a view to life only a fourteen year old could have in real life. He is never serious until he is. Wanting to adapt the book he had promised his daughters years ago he would, he relentlessly pursues Travers to sign the document.

    Annie Rose Buckley plays Helen, a young girl who sees her father, Goff (Colin Farrell) as a hero, although it is apparent from the start that he isn't. But he is a brilliant father and despite his many failures at life this fact makes the young Helen forever hold her father in the highest regard, to the extent that her whole life is affected by it. The young actress showed great promise and I'm already rooting for her career.

    The supporting cast did a satisfactory job. Paul Giamatti plays a limousine driver, Ralph, who takes Travers to different places. From the Sherman Brothers to Dolly to Don DaGradi, the humour was always there, often in the form of all of them attempting to make her approve of the different aspects of the film they have come up with.

    Though it started at a light note, it becomes increasingly serious as the woes of life catch up with the characters. But even in the midst of all the drama, a touch of humour here and there helped lighten the mood.

    The film followed one story in 1901 and the other in the 1960s. Both of these times were captured brilliantly with set design and costume. Add to that the great job done with the acting and writing, I give the film a score of 9.
  25. Jan 23, 2014
    This movie really stunned me, I expected it to be no more than a movie about the production of Mary Poppins with a comedic twist, the story was enjoyable as was the acting. The side story of Travers childhood really touched me as well, it was a great mix with great actors.
  26. Jan 23, 2014
    Magic, magic, magic. If a grown man were to walk into an empty theater with his layered-buttered popcorn and large sprite and sit in the best seat, he would smile and cry. Mr. Banks fireworks memories, inspiration, and memories exploding in your heart, melting your soul. Yes, that was me.
  27. Jan 19, 2014
    Inspiring and beautiful, this movie is full of amazing performances, mainly Thompson and some Hanks, and will definitely be a good ride for the whole family.
  28. Jan 19, 2014
    Good acting by Colin Farrell and Tom Hanks but as a piece of entertainment this film didn't work for me as P.L.Travers is such an awful person. Felt like an advert for the reputation of Walt Disney at times.
  29. Jan 15, 2014
    The two leads may be refined and build up decent chemistry, and the story has its emotional points placed in the right time, significantly the climax of her flashbacks. The problem, though, is that these movie executives and Walt Disney himself would not have been able to put up with Travers' nature, if all this is even remotely factual. And it leaves out the part where Walt Disney says to her about the animation; "Pamela, the ship has sailed ". P.L Travers in truth despised the film and vowed never to work with Disney again. For PG, it's not so cheesy. Expand
  30. Jan 13, 2014
    This was the most boring movie I've seen in years. I. Never thought I'd be like my father and fall asleep in movie theaters. But in this case yes I was literally falling asleep. The woman character was so irritating you find yourself wondering why Walt Disney didn't just kick her out of his office the first day, instead of tolerating her incessant whining for weeks. I recommend not seeing it and don't even bother renting it later. Expand
  31. Jan 8, 2014
    This is an exceptional film--amusing and finally moving. It is about the author of Mary Poppins resistance to having her book disneyfied and indeed her desire to keep people at arm's length. Hence, the film is very different from the Disney movie. It is superbly done as it tells two stories--why MP was created and why she wants to retain its integrity now. The actors are superb, the direction sure, the look of it beautiful. Expand
  32. Jan 6, 2014
    This was film storytelling at its best. Hanks was spot-on and made Walt Disney live again. This film was emotional, heartwarming and captivating. Emma Thompson will be Oscar nominated w/o a doubt. A must see!
  33. Jan 6, 2014
    Saving Mr Banks is a very well crafted feel good movie that touches the heart profoundly. Hanks and Thompson give sterling performances as Disney and PL Travers respectively. The chase of Disney for the script of Mary Poppins and Travers reluctance to sell a story that holds a deep sentiment has a lasting effect and shows what grief and heartbreak can be behind any story, especially those ones that have been transformed into a story that contains magic of the soul. Saving Mr Banks is a worthy movie to bring the world of Mary Poppins alive again. Expand
  34. Jan 2, 2014
    An astonishing emotional rollercoaster. Both funny and amazingly touching. In the showing I attended their were people singing with the songs and then crying as the movie reached a deeply cathartic ending. This movie will leave anyone who has parents, in particular a father, in tears, not necessarily of sadness, but of remeberance. All in all one of the finest, and most emotionally satisfiying motion pictures I've ever seen. Take a handkerchief, you're going to need it. Expand
  35. Jan 1, 2014
    Emma Thompson steals the show as she is absolutely brilliant. I would be shocked if she is not nominated for BEST ACTRESS come OSCAR time. Tom Hanks is fantastic as Walt Disney but even he knows he is playing a supporting role to Ms. Thompson. If you like movies with excellent dialogue in which you care about the characters then don't miss Saving Mr. Banks.
  36. Dec 30, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 'Saving Mr. Banks' is almost entirely fictitious. Unlike the conclusion of the movie, the author, Pamela Lyndon Travers (real name: Helen Lyndon Goff never liked or approved the Disney adaptation. The pace of the movie is slow in spots and the never-ending flash backs attempting to explain Ms. Goff's bizarre behavior are not convincing. Even at the premier of the movie, Ms. Goff insisted to Walt Disney that the animation had to go. Disney responded by walking away, saying as he did, "Pamela, the ship has sailed." The acting of Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson is exceptional and for that I'm forced to give it a favorable score but all in all, I really didn't like it much. Expand
  37. Dec 29, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I very much wanted to give this movie the benefit of the doubt, but they swung and missed with the writing and the very somber tone of this film. The tone sets up a very nice sequence in which Disney follows the author back to her home in London. However, other than a couple of nice moments with her driver Giamatti, it's the rare highlight from a very average film. Expand
  38. Dec 28, 2013
    This si a very enjoyable film where we learn how Mary Poppins was actually written. With many great actors and the scenery right in Disneyland it would be pretty tough to beat the story line of this film. I could comment that this isn't an "E" ticket item but a ride that anyone would enjoy going on many times.
  39. Dec 27, 2013
    A reviewer should review the movie they have seen not the want they wanted it to be. P.L. Travers, born Helen Lynden Goff, had an alcoholic father who died at a young age, a suicidal mother, adopted a boy when she was 40 though she wouldn't adopt his twin brother. She was an actress before becoming a writer under the Travers name and became famous with "Mary Poppins". She had live in affairs with two women and would die at the age of 96.

    "Saving Mr. Banks" is based on a trip she made to Hollywood, with all expenses picked up by Walt Disney, who wanted the rights to her best selling "Mary Poppins". Tom Hanks plays Disney as an easy going, easy to get along with guy, who portions out a lot more than 'A Spoonful of Sugar" to get those rights.

    Emma Thompson is the back bone of the movie playing Travers as a woman who won't give an inch. She is cold, looks down her nose on Hollywood and feels they will only bring harm to the work so close to her. She doesn't like Dick Van Dyke, wanting only an English cast, refused to have animated animals, scoffed at the songwriters and screenwriters, really doesn't get the audience on her side, even with flashbacks to her childhood, but by the end of the film will move you to tears.

    Joseph Schwartzman and B. J. Novak play the songwriting brothers, who won Oscars for Best Song "Chim Chim Che-ree and Best Original score, with Bradley Whitford, as Don DaGradi receiving a nomination for screenplay, doing an all around true person. There is an outstanding performance by Paul Giamatti playing Travers's Hollywood driver, Ralph. Colin Farrell as her father does a stereotype of the drunken Irish man with some warmth while most of the women in the movie have what would be called cameo parts by such names as Kathy Baker, Ruth Wilson and Rachel Griffiths.

    After bombastic films like "American Hustle" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" it's a good change of pace to come across the story of an Australian writer in a two film about a beloved American movie but, hopefully, with Emma Thompson playing P.L. Travis agai we will get the more dramatic picture of her real life.
  40. Dec 27, 2013
    Saving Mr. Banks is a true film, with all its Disney-like magic and wonder, counterbalanced by tough, dramatic scenes about an alcoholic father and his struggle to keep his family surviving. But, the scenes go from here to there, and everything is predictable. Emma Thompson's character is annoyingly portrayed(even though that was the point),but she takes it to a level where she isn't fun to watch anymore. Tom Hanks does a good job, and Colin Farrell was on par, but this movie is too lightweight to be called "best film of the year." Expand
  41. Dec 27, 2013
    Emma Thompson is simply delightful as the stuffy British author of the Mary Poppins books, who comes to LA to meet with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks). He's been trying for 20 years to obtain the rights and she's staunchly determined not to give in. Playing parallel to this charming story is an emotional examination of her life as a girl and the flawed father she worshiped (Colin Farrell in an uncharacteristic sweet role). The team's frustrating attempts at winning the writer's approval are classic Disney magic: cheerful, earnest and genuinely funny. The childhood flashbacks, although beautifully shot, simply go on too long and drag down the pacing (and the light mood). Even so, adults will enjoy this tasteful and well-crafted glimpse into cinema history with an emotional core. Be sure to sit thru the credits til the "tape" runs out. Expand
  42. Dec 26, 2013
    This is a fabulous charming Disney film that does Mary Poppins justice. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson give top notch performances and the supporting cast are pitch perfect as well.
  43. Dec 26, 2013
    The movie is delightful, pleasant, and heartwarming. It doesn't try to sell itself more than what it is and makes you appreciate Mary Poppins just a little bit more. Emma Thompson puts on a wonderful performance.
  44. Dec 25, 2013
    I think "Saving Mr. Banks" is a best movie that is based on the actual real life events that took place in the making of the 1964 classic "Mary Poppins"
  45. Dec 25, 2013
    "Saving Mr. Banks" is easily one of the best movies to come out this year. It tells the tale behind the making of Disney’s beloved classic "Mary Poppins," but it is so much more than just a typical ‘making of a movie’ movie. While many of these types of films aren’t as good as the movie they are about, this one is different. It feels like a companion piece to the beloved classic. It allows us to appreciate the trials and tribulations Disney had to go through to make his magnum opus. However, it is also more about P.L. Traverse and why she loves her character so much and why Mary Poppins holds such a special place in her heart.

    Director John Lee does a great job of making this film something truly special. He balances witty humor with emotional depth, but does so without being too sappy or melodramatic. The film is also well written by being more personal than just being a movie about making a movie. The themes of letting and moving on are handled well and really becomes relatable to anyone watching.

    The performances are top-notch. Tom Hanks makes a pretty good Disney and he isn’t sugar coated either. The real standouts are Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell. They give strong dimensional performances that makes us truly care and sympathies with the characters.

    Overall “Saving Mr. Banks” is a truly great and beautifully told film. Its individual parts may not be the years best, but as a complete film it is the whole package. It’s a movie that exemplifies why we go to the movies and what Disney stands for as an entertainment corporation. It is a movie that is equal parts heartfelt, witty, charming, entertaining, and emotionally satisfying. I give it 5/5
  46. Dec 24, 2013
    Saving Mr. Banks is wonderful and delightful that gives us strong performances but the key is the relationship between P.L Travers and her story, while simultaneously reinforcing what we’ve always loved about Mary Poppins.
  47. Dec 23, 2013
    Saving Mr. Banks is a solid piece of entertainment. I didn't love the film, but it was entertaining enough to keep my attention. I thought the acting was solid throughout, and the depiction of P.L. Travers by Emma Thompson is the glue that holds the film together. Ms. Travers was obviously an unlikeable, thankless character in real life, and her entrance into the sugary sweet Disney Studios is mostly fun to watch. She insists on being part of the creative process of putting the film together or she won't sign over the rights to the film. Her demands are exasperating ("No Music") or ridiculous ("No color red in the film") and she drives the creative team crazy. Tom Hanks does a nice job as Disney, and even looks a little like him in the eyes. Overall it was fun but not something I would want to see again. Expand
  48. Dec 23, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Comes just in advance of the film’s fiftieth anniversary is the story behind one of Walt Disney’s most beloved pictures, Mary Poppins (1964), 4), and negotiations between Disney and the author of the original books, P. L. Travers.

    If history is written by the victors, then there’s bound to be bias when the Disney Company tells a tale surrounding their beloved Uncle Walt, but the film portrays the powerful personalities of Travers and Disney as equal in strength and single mindedness. Ultimately, both are flawed.

    Tom Hanks has had a good year, appearing recently in the critically acclaimed Captain Phillips. As Walt Disney, he appeals to Travers with a promise he made to his daughters: that he would adapt their favourite book for the silver screen. He claims Travers’ creations are as much his family as hers, but at heart, he is a shrewd businessman, and a man who is absolutely used to getting what he wants.

    Travers (Emma Thompson, who has experience starring as her own magical governess in Nanny McPhee) views the art of film and the fantasies of Disney with utter contempt, and has spent twenty years vehemently denying him the rights to her work. But financial constraints force her hand and she agrees to fly to California, where pre-production is already well underway, to finally hammer out a compromise.

    While the clash of two big characters is enough for a solid story, Saving Mr. Banks is an ensemble piece. The cast rounded out with Travers’ good natured chauffer Ralph (Paul Giamatti) providing her introduction to American culture, and Disney’s team: scriptwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford), and songwriters Richard (Jason Schwartzman) and Robert Sherman (B. J. Novak).

    Much of the humour in the film comes from Travers’ altercations with DaGradi and the Sherman Brothers as they edit the script and score. Travers’ is infinitely insufferable, rejecting their suggestions outright, frowning in disapproval at their songs, and chiding them for lack of manners when they attempt an informal atmosphere.

    One stipulation she makes is to record all of their meetings. These were used extensively as source material by the film makers and an authentic excerpt from one of these tapes which plays over the end credits reveals just how accurate Thompsons’s portrayal is Travers really was that overbearing.

    As a period piece, the film indulges in the meticulously portrayed eras of early ‘60s Hollywood, and turn of the century Australia. Here, flashbacks to Travers’ youth and her father (Colin Farell), a struggling alcoholic bank manager, reveal the reasons behind her haughty demeanour, and the inspirations for her novels. With Mary Poppins, she gave the Banks’ family a redemption that her own life never had.

    The film is unashamedly saccharine at times. Travers is not alone: every character, from Ralph to Robert Sherman to Disney himself, has a tale of hardship to tug at the heartstrings. The audience is played like a fiddle by director John Lee who knows a little about strung out sentimentality from his previous film, The Blind Side (2009). The film is long, clocking in at just over two hours, but is well paced, and does not feel especially bloated.

    Naturally, a certain amount of knowledge and appreciation for Mary Poppins is required for this film to mean anything. While I am no Travers biographer, I’m aware that some elements of her personal life have been streamlined, or indeed omitted, to make them more cinematic.

    The bare bones are the truth, and are indeed a powerful story. The biggest difference is that although she allowed it to be filmed, Travers never came around, and hated the Disney film for the rest of her life.
  49. Dec 22, 2013
    Very enjoyable and entertaining film. Yes, it keeps jumping from Traver's real life childhood in Australia with her alcoholic father and pitiful mother to her dealings with Walt Disney who was superbly played by Tom Hanks. Yet, there's a real charming, satisfying and touching quality to the overall production. Ms. Thompson was excellent.
  50. Dec 21, 2013
    I can't believe no one is talking about Colin Farrell's performance. It's by far the best. Thompson's Travers first got on my nerves because of her incessant nagging, but I really really enjoyed the film--from the subtle themes interwoven from "Mary Poppins" to the amazing, poignant backstory, to the rewarding references of the iconic film, this movie really pays off to those who have cherished the story. Highly recommend it. Don't take your kids, though. This isn't for them--it's for the adults. Expand
  51. Dec 21, 2013
    Something about this movie just really stuck out. Not only does it have its cute and good feel, but it also tugs very strongly on the emotion relationship between the author P.L Travers and her Mary Poppins story. And while Tom Hanks is magnificent as the legendary Walt Disney, it's Emma Thompson's role as P.L. Travers that not only sticks out, but hits us home right in our hearts. Overall, what a wonderful tale of one of the greatest movies of all time! I give it an A-! Expand
  52. Dec 20, 2013
    It will take more than a spoonful of sugar to help this rather unpalatable medicine go down. Marketed as being about the making of the musical 'Mary Poppins', this is only partially true. The film spends 50% of its running time exploring P L Travers child hood in Australia with her down trodden mother and drunken father (Colin Farrell giving the film's best performance). From this dysfunctional background sprung forth her flying nanny. The other half of the film is indeed about the making of the famous 1964 movie starring Oscar winning Julie Andrews, which is in itself over rated.
    The main problem is that the film is boringly repetitive and the juxtaposing of Travers' child hood with her time in L A is totally un-interesting. Things aren't helped by Emma Thompson's irritatingly mannered and tiresome performance (An Oscar nomination I have heard mentioned. REALLY!!!!!!). Also Tom Hanks' brilliance as Captain Phillips has certainly been hijacked here in his playing of Walt Disney. In fact the best parts of the film involve the Sherman brothers composing or performing the now famous music. I also have to admit to loving the line Poor A A Milne' which Ms Thompson utters in disgust on finding a stuffed Pooh bear in her hotel room. However, aside from the occasional line of inspired dialogue, most of the script has Thompson constantly enunciating in the negative which becomes wearisome indeed. Predictable sentimentality has its moments towards the end, but an excessive running time cannot save Mr Banks from being dull, dull, dull.
  53. Dec 15, 2013
    Saving Mr. Banks” stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins literary property. This is the story about the making of the film by the same name. Directed by John Lee and written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith, the film depicts the events preceding the actual filming of this Disney classic and, in vivid detail, shares with the viewer the many problems, trials and tribulations imposed upon the producer by the author and owner of the rights to the character. Ms. Thompson’s performance is superb and gives new meaning to the word excellence. Mr. Hanks, it goes without saying, does a wonderful job portraying the late Walt Disney who strived to make this charming book into a film.. Fast becoming the Male Meryl Streep, it seems that Mr. Hanks can play any role and play it well. This film is pleasant to watch but, more importantly, it is historically important as it relates the relationship between Mr. Disney and Ms. Travers and why it took so long to bring the book to the screen. I give the film an 8 with special attention given to the acting performance of Ms. Thompson. Expand
  54. Dec 15, 2013
    Grounded by terrific performances, SAVING MR. BANKS, underscores the power of art to heal and inspire. Did I really just write that? Yes! Director John Lee proves to be a force in delivering adult emotion without the sappy sentimentality. BANKS will truly surprise you. It's about much more than Mary Poppins. A lovely film but very short of great. The film needs two moments of transcendence that it hints at but then backs off. Too bad. BANKS could have been a major holiday treat. But again, pretty damn good. Expand
  55. Dec 13, 2013
    In the end, Saving Mr. Banks does what few historical pieces are able to: it both informs and transforms our impression of something we thought we knew, while simultaneously reinforcing what we’ve always loved about it or better yet, it provides new intrigue to those who may not have loved it in the first (I speak personally, in this case). As far as holiday season movies go, this is a solid bet for that feel-good family film, despite the fact that it contains some heavier (but worthwhile) dramatic elements. Another winner for Hanks in 2013. Expand
  56. Dec 13, 2013
    Although its ending could have been more expanded, Saving Mr. Banks is a sad story about its origins of Mary Poppins, yet also a funny story about how it Mary Poppins made it to the big screen and the accurate performance of Walt Disney by Tom Hanks and witty performance of P.L. Travers by Emma Thompson made this movie worth watching.

    Personal Note: I watched this movie when this was
    screened at Dubai International Film Festival Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
  1. 30
    A fair number of people have responded with tears and laughs to Saving Mr. Banks, but I found it interminable.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Dec 20, 2013
    A fascinating blend of brand extension and corporate history.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 20, 2013
    Saving Mr. Banks, set in 1961, is smart, delightful.