Movie: Saving Mr. Banks
What it’s up for: Music (score)

This will come as no surprise, but I loved this movie. I laughed. I cried. I immediately watched Mary Poppins. I’m not sure how accurate the movie was to real events, but they had one of P.L. Traver’s biographers as well as Richard Sherman help with consultation. I loved it for what it was.

I’m not sure how you would categorize this movie. I guess it’s considered a drama but it’s not really that dramatic. I’m guessing most people would find it boring. It’s completely a character piece following the life of P.L. Travers around the time she was negotiating with the Disney Company about the creation of Mary Poppins. If you are a fan of Mary Poppins, you will probably like this movie. There are all sorts of little connections made throughout the film between what is happening on-screen and what happens in the movie they are trying to create. Those little details are what made it a moving film for me. There’s plenty there to tug the heartstrings. I think that the movie was fantastically structured with an almost painful attention to detail in the script and screenplay. Almost everything that was said or done was significant in some way and connected to something else that happened or would happen in the film. Not to mention, it was BEAUTIFULLY shot.

The actors were all fantastic. Emma Thompson had such quiet appeal as the principled Ms. Travers. As her character grows through the Mary Poppins process and as we learn more about her personal history, you grow in a desire to see her happy and redeemed. Tom Hanks was stellar as Walt Disney – an undeniably intimidating role to play. He was still a little too Tom Hanksy for me, but I thought he did a great job. From the biographies and writings I’ve read about the real Walt, he seemed to portray him rather accurately. Colin Farrell is the unsung hero of this movie as Ms. Travers’ father. He plays a loving, imaginative, alcoholic father who (at least in the movie) inspired much of who Ms. Travers came to be. Playing absolutely lovable and fabulous supporting roles are Paul Giamatti (as Ralph, Ms. Travers’ limo driver) and Melanie Paxson (as Dolly, Walt’s secretary). Both of them add significant things to the movie and provide some great comedic relief.

Now for the score. I love love LOVE Thomas Newman. He has done so much and I don’t think he’s recognized enough. He is apparently the most nominated living composer to have never won an Oscar (according to Wikipedia). It is a charming and engaging score. I remember noticing it’s significance while I was watching the movie, which is always a good sign. I’m personally rooting for Newman this year.

Predictions
I’m honestly not sure. I still need to see a couple of the movies in this category, but I think Newman has a shot. He’s up against some other big names though. It would be a nice nod from the Academy, for both him and the movie, if he wins.

 

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