I remember when I first saw the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks, and I thought it looked all right, but it didn’t exactly jump off the screen and grab my attention. It wasn’t until some friends started to mention that they saw it and were really surprised about what the film was, rather than about the actual quality. When people mention more about the good surprise, rather than its quality, means I knew I had to check it out.
When I went to see it at the cinema I had a rather auspicious moment when two people behind the counter said they cried in the movie, but I was slightly thrown off that when the third person behind the counter, who was a cute young Maori girl, ignored the film talk and said she liked the song that just started playing over their foyer PA, Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters. Young people appreciating good metal music always puts me in a good mood for a movie I might cry in, so I took it as a very good sign.
Saving Mr. Banks is a film I’m going to need to ingest for a while to really understand what I thought of it, as this isn’t just a normal bio pic, or drama, or dramedy, or feel good film, it’s a bit of all of those, and so much so I almost felt a sensory overload.
Because often when the film is leading you down one path of what you think it is or will be, the narrative flow will change, in both time and tone, and make you not only feel something completely different, but also make you feel different about the scene before it and the one before that.
The performances were great, though far from my favourite of this award season, the writing was rock solid as I felt the tonal shifts were spot on, and the directing was good as well, though there were a few points where I felt it let the film down a bit.
Now, I’m a sucker for a true story, and this film was always going to touch me a little deeper because of that, and so when a particularly sad part happened, and as I had tears running down my face, the fact the only other people in the theatre, which were two older ladies behind me, and a young couple in front of me, also made sobbing sounds, just kind of made me smile, as the build up to that scene was picture perfect to create the shedding of tears.
So the film is well worth seeing, but it may be one of those films I only ever see once in my lifetime, which doesn’t say the film was bad, it’s just saying it was a bit much overall in the emotional sense to make me want to see it again, especially anytime soon.
8.5 out of 10 from me!!!