That is not a word! – Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

Saving Mr. Banks – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Director: John Lee Hancock
Writers: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin Farrell

Mary Poppins is one of those films that most people love, but who, like me, had no idea where the story came from or that it was originally a book. The author, Mrs P.L. Travers was a fascinating woman as we discover in this film. Emma Thompson really carries this film. Her diversity and skill in being able to portray anyone at any time (I recently re-watched some of the Harry Potter films and she is unrecognisable as Prof. Trelawny) is a blessing to the character of P.L. Travers. She is an unpleasant, particular, and snobbish kind of woman. Although she grew up in the outback of Australia she rejected her Australian nature for a British and Irish obsession. It is the contrast between the character from her early days in Australia with her family and her life after she left Australia that really give this film depth.

The story is simple enough, flashbacks to the little girl, Ginty (Annie Rose Buckley), with the ongoing saga of Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) insisting she give them the rights to make the book of Mary Poppins into the film. But it is the simplicity and ordinary nature of the story that makes it a powerful tale. A girl who is continually with wanting to live in an imaginary world and the the world telling her that it is not a fairytale. The dissipation of hope and the insistence of harsh reality. The little girl is washed away through the bleakness of the world and yet, through all of this, she creates a wonderful world of fiction. An escape that captures the minds of millions of people. And it is this essential quality that Emma Thompson is able to present in beautiful clarity through her dealings with Walt Disney and the script and song writers of Mary Poppins.

Another stand out performance for me, mostly because I am Australian, is that of Colin Farrell. His Australian accent is perfectly subdued and subtle. So many times accents can be overdone, and Farrell managed to make it real. His charm and frivolity make the father of Ginty come alive. Without the rawness of the performance this film could have failed to bind together Mrs Travers’ past self and future self. The cohesion of the film is sturdy rather than flippant which is evidently the work of John Lee Hancock (The Blindside, The Rookie) as the director. To create a world where joy is balanced and juxtaposed with sadness.

I would never claim that this film is one of my favourites, it has its flaws, however I do believe that the essence of the film is an important tale to be told, such as the one in Mary Poppins. Without hope, playfulness, and a little imagination, this world is as bleak as we want to make it. We have minds that are capable of making even the smallest of chores a joy. Reality is only as harsh as we imagine it to be, so why not imagine it to be like a spoonful of sugar?

3.5/5

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A psychopath is what? – Seven Psychopaths

Seven Psychopaths - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

Seven Psychopaths – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Stars: Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell

Dark humour or black comedy is a type of comedy that I’ve never been sure whether to laugh at or find a little icky. I have to say after sitting in a theatre and being the only one to giggle basically the entire way through this film that Seven Psychopaths has either shown me to have a dark sense of humour, or I am actually a psychopath, I’m pretty sure it’s the former.

Seven Psychopaths is not a film I would recommend for anyone with a weak stomach or who doesn’t like a lot of violence in their comedies. However, in saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The actors in this film are all outstanding and each part fits together to make this film brilliantly funny. There were moments when Christopher Walken’s face just made me burst into a fit of giggles. Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell’s comedic timing and delivery is perfection. The one surprise for me in this film was Colin Farrell. Admittedly I haven’t been a fan of Farrell before, but his performance in this film has made me reconsider my opinion of him. It’s worth a watch just for the surprise of Colin Farrell’s performance.

The script by Martin McDonagh is satirical and witty. It has been brilliantly crafted and directed. McDonagh is clever and incredibly funny in the way he twists and surprises you throughout the entire film. The laugh out loud moments that I had stemmed from the surprises in the plot just as much as from the actors performances. He has created quirky film that has some hilarious moments and some really touching moments as well.

I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but it is very funny if you like dark humour and want to go along for a fun adventure with an alcoholic writer, a Christian dognapper, and a lovable psychopath.

4/5