starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell
screenplay by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith
directed by John Lee Hancock
by Walter Chaw Oh, I get it, haha, this is some kind of joke, right? Because no one in their right mind would remake Finding Neverland as this twee bullshit. ...Wait, really? Okay. Because I'm assured that this happened, presented for your approval is (snicker) Saving Mr. Banks, directed by (haha) John Lee Hancock from a screenplay by a team one half of which (bwahaha) is currently writing the Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation. This is rich--are you serious? Okay, okay. So Saving Mr. Banks is based on the adorable true story of how everyone's favourite union-busting, HUAC finger-pointing anti-Semite Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) convinced brittle British bitch P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson, the "I'm so veddy cross" 'elevens' crease between her eyes upstaging her in nearly every scene) to sell him the rights to her creation, Mary Poppins. He all of practiced, televisual charm and she all of powder and crumpets; how will Walt ever batter down the barriers that Ms. Travers has erected from the hell of her Andrew Wyeth flashback childhood, complete with (snigger) Colin Farrell as her fatally-flawed (and handsomely alcoholic) da, Robert. Who gives a shit? More rhetorical questions: Who really likes--I mean really likes--garbage like this? Is there anyone at this point who thinks it a great idea to peanut-butter a shameless Thomas Newman score over every exposed nook in a movie aimed at cat ladies in Mickey Mouse sweatshirts? Saving Mr. Banks is dribble of the first order. What I wouldn't give to see Hanks play Disney's 1931 nervous breakdown, moreover to have our very own Jimmy Stewart choose the same late-career path as the actual Stewart and begin playing darker roles in less conventional films. Admittedly, Captain Phillips is mostly crap, but it's not drool, and Hanks is great in it.