A Little Bit Critical

So, as anyone who has watched a movie with me knows, I cannot turn off my brain for the two hours required, even, or maybe especially, in a darkened theater. Over the past few years, I can only say I loved…Toy Story III, The King’s Speech, and The Heat.

But my shriveled cynical heart could simply not resist Saving Mr. Banks. 

It as as close to perfect a movie as I believe Hollywood is capable. Hyperbolic, I know. But looking at three quarters of my few favorite movies…they’re kind of about old people. Maybe Hollywood writers are only able to write coherent stories for old people. Or maybe they’re not as likely to get distracted by sex when old people are involved. Wait…Last Vegas was a thing. Let me mourn for a moment.

Never mind. I think my favorite part of Saving Mr. Banks is not, actually the characters, which in fact sound like actual people, but that the characters’ story matches the theme…it’s a movie about creative ownership and even the conflict between the collaborative nature movie-making and the individual ownership of writing. 

The scriptwriters managed to tell quite a few stories in, well, a rather long movie. It was a good choice though, because for one thing, I didn’t even feel like I’d been in the theater that long, and afterward wasn’t as exhausted as I would have expected, as I did during The Book Thief. And I loved that it felt like the side characters were given characters and not just props.

Emma Thomson and Tom Hanks both portrayed their characters excellently, but everyone in the movie acted. Most of the time, watching movies, I am watching Acclaimed Actor X standing in for Character Y. There isn’t necessarily a great deal of acting. So that alone made me well-disposed towards the movie.

Finally, I should clarify: this is fiction people. I’m fairly certain it’s not meant to be a history. Maybe a homage, a memorial for the real people. (I did love the credits, tapes from the real sessions with Mrs. Travers.) But yeah, not a history, just a story, based loosely on real life, and told most excellently.

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