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Saving Mr. Banks

Comedy . Drama . History . Biography

Author P.L. Travers travels from London to Hollywood as Walt Disney Pictures adapts her novel Mary Poppins for the big screen.

Actors: Emma Thompson , Tom Hanks , Paul Giamatti , Colin Farrell , Ruth Wilson , Jason Schwartzman , Bradley Whitford , Annie Rose Buckley , B. J. Novak , Kathy Baker
Directors: John Lee Hancock
Release: 2013-12-20
More Info:
  • James Berardinelli

    Taken on its own, Saving Mr. Banks is a pleasant, crowd-pleasing endeavor. For those with a soft spot for Mary Poppins, however, it's a treasure.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It was never going to be “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Reserve that honor for the film that inspired it. But Saving Mr. Banks is still one of the best pictures of the year.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Saving Mr. Banks is a wholesomely square film about a wholesomely square film. But damned if its sugar doesn't go down like honey.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Speaking of good storytelling, Hancock knows a thing or two about that. Not only does the "Blind Side" director deftly navigate the double narrative of Saving Mr. Banks, but his film is also a visual treat.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Disney scholars may scoff that it’s not a warts-and-all portrayal of the struggle to bring “Mary Poppins” to the screen, but that seems almost churlish in light of the enthusiasm Hanks brings to the film, or the eventually melting icy facade Thompson puts up.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    The slick but moving Saving Mr. Banks transcends its corporate pedigree to become a great Disney movie about making a Disney movie.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Cath Clarke

    The whole thing goes down with a few bucketloads of sugar. What keeps it from becoming sticky schmaltz is Thompson, who plays Travers with wit and warmth, adding a spoonful of spoilt child to help the battleaxe go down.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Helen O'Hara

    This is not a simple story of an uptight English woman induced to loosen up by those freedom-lovin’ Yanks, but a delicate and brilliantly acted story of overcoming the past to embrace an uncertain future. Emma Thompson, in particular, is magic.

    Empire Full Review
  • Leslie Felperin

    Taken strictly on its own terms, Saving Mr. Banks works exceedingly well as mainstream entertainment.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    It’s a bit square, never particularly surprising, yet very rich in its sense of creative people and their spirit of self-reinvention.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Gritten

    It’s Thompson as the heroically unbiddable Travers who makes the most of it; her bravura performance effectively dominates the film.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Kate Erbland

    There’s charm and delight here, to be sure, but it is occasionally obscured by attempts to make it somehow darker, deeper, and more dramatic. Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    A fascinating blend of brand extension and corporate history.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Saving Mr. Banks, set in 1961, is smart, delightful.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    The most satisfying portions of Saving Mr. Banks occur when the movie adds pinches of salt to the spoonfuls of sugar making this medicine go down.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    The screenplay, by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith, seamlessly captures two different eras with overlapping story lines that never intrude or confuse.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    An intoxicating kiddie cocktail for young-at-heart adults, inspired by a Disney fairy tale based on fact: the making of "Mary Poppins." Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Thompson is very good at playing imperious, and she even manages an unexpected trace of flirtiness in a few offhanded moments with Hanks.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Saving Mr. Banks does end in tears, but they're Disney tears, as befits a movie about Disney made by Disney. Which doesn't mean you shouldn't see this beguiling piece of pop storytelling, built on half-truths whipped into shape for a storybook ending that never was.

    NPR Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Sentiment is at its heart. The legions who grew up on Disney's Mary Poppins will find it delightfully satisfying to hear snippets of its enormously catchy songs and watch its captivating creative journey.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Saving Mr. Banks doesn’t always straddle its stories and time periods with the utmost grace. But the film — which John Lee Hancock directed from a script by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith — more than makes up for its occasionally unwieldy structure in telling a fascinating and ultimately deeply affecting story.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Because it’s a Hollywood movie from a major corporation looking fondly at itself, it concludes that, while art may heal our psychic wounds, craftsmanship and commerce heal them better.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    A tasty swig of holiday cheer.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    This is a lovingly rendered, sweet film.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Director Hancock knows a few things about directing crowd-pleasing heartwarmers, having made "The Blind Side." This one wouldn't work without Thompson.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Ashley Clark

    Ultimately, Saving Mr Banks is witty, well-crafted and well-performed mainstream entertainment which, perhaps unavoidably, cleaves to a well-worn Disney template stating that all problems - however psychologically deep-rooted - can be overcome.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Oliver Lyttelton

    Even if it doesn't quite stick the landing, there's a lot to like here; it's a fundamentally decent, very well-acted and cannily written film.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    The director is John Lee Hancock, who does what he did with “The Blind Side,” where he commandeered a true and jagged tale, tidied up the trauma, and made sure that everyone lived sappily ever after. Sandra Bullock carried the day then, and now Emma Thompson repeats the process.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Edges have been softened, harshness has been transformed into happiness sprinkled with eccentricity. And the paradox, of course, is that we're glad to be seduced. As Disney films go, this is a good one.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    It’s a highly enjoyable picture. Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Saving Mr. Banks does not strictly hew to the historical record where the eventual resolution of this conflict is concerned, but it is easy to accept this fictionalizing as part of the price to be paid for Thompson's engaging performance.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Director John Lee Hancock and screenwriters Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith spend about a third of the film exploring Travers’ childhood in Australia, and there the film succeeds.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    The best parts of Saving Mr. Banks offer an embellished, tidied-up but nonetheless reasonably authentic glimpse of the Disney entertainment machine at work.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Genevieve Koski

    Those willing or prone to buy into the idea of “Disney Magic” are likely to choke up at least once or twice over the course of Saving Mr. Banks, while those who resist it—the Traverses of the world—will choke on the heaping spoonfuls of sugar the film ladles onto its story.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Saving Mr. Banks turns Travers’s tense collaboration with Walt and his team of Imagineers into — naturally — a schmaltzy journey of closure, climaxing in a teary screening of the finished musical.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Paul Bradshaw

    Hanks takes to Walt like a pair of cosy slippers, but it’s Thompson who adds layers to a classy but predictable slice of Disney schmaltz.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    Saving Mr Banks is an indulgent, overlong picture which is always on the verge of becoming a mess. Thankfully, reliable old Tom Hanks snaps his fingers and – spit, spot – everything more or less gets cleared away.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Saving Mr. Banks is two movies crammed into one cumbersome, overlong drama.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Steve Davis

    The saving quality here is Thompson’s performance as the prickly Travers.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Certainly, this imagineered version of P.L. Travers’s life provides an orderly drama, but it’s uncomfortably reductive. It may be a small world, after all, but it comes in a lot more shades than Saving Mr. Banks suggests.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The film is too intelligent and well-crafted to dismiss and too good to hate. Some people will love it, and at worst, most people will like it a little.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    The irony of Saving Mr. Banks is that it takes this true story of Hollywood conflict, of artistic integrity pitted against studio moxie, and gives it the same warm-and-fuzzy treatment the company gave Poppins. One woman’s failed battle to stop her work from being Disneyfied has itself been Disneyfied.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Except for a couple of isolated, mildly subversive moments, Hanks is basically playing the genial host of “The Wonderful World of Disney’’ rather than an actual person.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    Saving Mr. Banks, a fictionalized account of two weeks Travers spent on the lot in Burbank, is proof that Walt has thawed and secretly reclaimed Disney's reins.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Nick McCarthy

    A tale of memory and redemption that does little to linger in the mind and even less to decry P.L. Travers's claim that Disney turns everything it touches into schmaltz.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    A fair number of people have responded with tears and laughs to Saving Mr. Banks, but I found it interminable.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
Add Soundtrack
  • 7. Chim Chim Cher-ee (Responstible) Performer: Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak Stream Music Online
  • 9. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius Performer: Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak Stream Music Online
  • 14. Fidelity Fiduciary Bank Performer: Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak and Bradley Whitford Stream Music Online
  • 20. Lets Go Fly a Kite Performer: Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Bradley Whitford, Melanie Lawson and Emma Thompson Stream Music Online
  • 21. Mary Poppins Medley: A Spoonful of SugarJolly HolidayFeed the Birds Performer: Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 25. Lets Go Fly a Kite Performer: David Tomlinson, Dick Van Dyke, and The Londoners Stream Music Online
  • 38. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Performer: Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak & Emma Thompson Stream Music Online
  • 53. Let's Go Fly a Kite Performer: Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Bradley Whitford, Emma Thompson & Melanie Paxson Stream Music Online
  • 54. Mary Poppins Medley: A Spoonful of Sugar/Jolly Holiday/Feed the Birds Performer: Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra Stream Music Online