After Walt Disney's daughters beg him to make a movie based off their favorite book, P.L. Travers' Marry Poppins, Walt begins to pursue the author, not knowing it would take 20 years to make. John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks chronicles Walt Disney's quest to obtain the rights to Mary Poppins, a difficult proposition, given P.L. Travers uncompromising attitude due to being scared of the Hollywood machine's butchering of her beloved story. John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks is a charming, albeit safe film capturing the difficult process of adaption. Saving Mr. Banks has its moments of sappiness but overall the film does a good job at avoiding overly sentimental trappings in delivering a surprisingly effective film. Emma Thompson is easily the star of this film, delivering a surprisingly complex performance that is both incredibly entertaining and somewhat tragic. My biggest critique of the film would simply be that it's a little too safe, somewhat hinting about Walt Disney's darker side but never quite going far enough to make it worth commenting on in the first place. In the end, Saving Mr. Banks is the perfect holiday movie, being a light, entertaining feel good movie that goes down easy but could have been better with a little more bite.
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