Friday, January 31, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks

*** out of ****

American Hustle, a film loosely based on true events actually put one of the most honest prefaces I have seen in a movie:

"Some of this actually happened."

Disney could have stated the same thing at the beginning of their making-of-Mary Poppins film, Saving Mr. Banks, and it would still feel like an exaggeration. It is a good film on its own terms, but winds up being exactly what I suspected: Shameful revisionist history and studio propaganda. Still, it is well made and acted, but damn!

Even while the movie's implication that Author P.L. Travers came to some sort of appreciation for how the artists at Walt Disney Studios had altered her creation is shameful enough, it's worse to consider that her business with good ol' Walt helped her come to terms with a tragic childhood. 

The story of Travers' childhood is spliced into the film in fragments and is absolutely heart-wrenching. Such beautiful filmmaking in the service of "total bullshit" -as Harlan Ellison stated in a video blog

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