Reeling - Rene Rodriguez

December 22, 2013 12:00 AM

Saving Mr. Banks (PG-13)

Saving Mr. Banks is two movies crammed into one cumbersome, overlong drama. The good half is set in Burbank in 1961, when Walt Disney (Tom Hanks), after 20 years of requests, finally gets author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to travel from London and visit the studio to consider signing over the film rights to her beloved Mary Poppins book series. Travers is fiercely protective of the novels and has great disdain for the Disney brand of entertainment (“These books don’t lend themselves to chirping and prancing,” she huffs at him). But Travers is also broke and suffering from writers’ block, so she agrees to consider Disney’s proposal, under certain conditions: She will be involved in the writing of the screenplay, she will have final say over every detail of the film — and most important of all, the movie will have no animated characters whatsoever.

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