Saving Mr. Banks (Australia/ UK/ USA, 2013)
Directed by John Lee Hancock
Starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin Farrell
The phrase "feel-good film" is one that can often send so-called proper film fans running for the hills. For people of a certain age or disposition, "feel-good films" are lazy, mawkish, openly manipulative efforts which prize enjoyment and entertainment so highly that they make no effort at any deeper message. They are films for people who don't really like films, a sort of false safe haven for people who can no longer handle the complexities of real life and the cinema that often brutally captures it.
Sarah's Key. But Hancock judges things very nicely, never letting his editing decisions be too obvious as he switches between the stories.
The Odd Couple, anchored as it is by two very different characters who are forced to share a confined space. Disney is the more relaxed, Walter Matthau figure, who wants room for fun and a little indulgence, while Travers is like Jack Lemmon's character: crochety, stubborn, set in her ways and threatened by even the smallest deviation from what she knows. Emma Thompson has always had terrific comic timing, and her performance here is every bit as brilliant as her turn as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing some 20 years ago.
Adaptation, their solution comes from realigning their creative principles with the needs of the people they value most.
For a more in-depth discussion of the merits of light and dark storytelling, check out JesuOtaku's review of Madoka Magica here (the discussion about storytelling begins around halfway in).
Saving Mr. Banks was #5 on my list of favourite films from 2013. Click here to view the full list.
NEXT REVIEW: Finding Nemo (2003)