Blu-ray REVIEW: Saving Mr. Banks @ 7 April 2014 03:57 PM
If you care anything about Disney, music, art, storytelling, the human condition, irresistible forces, immovable objects, imagination, conflict, compromise, respect, heart, soul and kites, you either already have or will definitely appreciate Saving Mr. Banks.
At the root of the story, though, may be the volatile and dynamic nature of creativity. Writing a book, making a movie, composing songs -- all of these come from scratch, but they all connect to life experiences and deep emotions, sometimes not even realized by the creative person.
You're not doing your job as a creative if you don't come up with something you become attached to. But once you do that, you set yourself up for hurt and defensiveness. It's realizing that and dealing with this phenomenon that is the constant challenge in a creative endeavor.
Few movies capture such an ethereal concept as well as Saving Mr. Banks. It's not about what room Walt Disney stood in on February 3, 1062, nor is it about who is opposing whom. And it's downright foolish and misguided to see it as one side "winning" over another. A creative thing is a living thing and it lives on in film, music, print and more. It's about the work, not who is who. That transcends the time, setting and players.
The performances are spot on. Lots has been said about the actors, but I also loved the way it was filmed, the sequences that tied one era to another, and the superb musical score.
Not much in the way of bonus features on the Blu-ray (would have loved a commentary), but the major documentary is very fresh and filled with insight not found anywhere else. The rousing film wrap moment when the crew sang "Let's Go Fly a Kite" is downright tear-jerking. In a good way.
Mary Poppins has been inducted into the National Film Registry, it's soundtrack in now in the Grammy Hall of Fame and this film cements the Sherman Brothers as artists at the level of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gilbert and Sullivan. That alone makes it an important motion picture.
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