Anything Goes : The Academy Awards - For Your Consideration First Up..."Saving Mr. Banks" by Ron Greenfield

Ron Greenfield

The Academy Awards - For Your Consideration First Up..."Saving Mr. Banks"

Two things intrigued me about this film. There is the history of how the film actually came to be made and the actors who portrayed Travers and Disney, Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, both Academy Award ® winners. The first half, cutting back and forth between past and present was a little tedious and even disconcerting, but midway through it found its legs. - See more at: http://www.aspectsofentertainment.com/academy-awards-consideration/#stha... Author, Perspectives on Entertainment - on Kindle and iBooks Publisher, Aspects of Entertainment - Newsstand @rongreenfield1

James David Sullivan

It's still enjoyable. I don't have a big problem with those type of time cuts. They show us how certain personal traits and habits develop. Politics playing the role it always does, there is no doubt that this film will receive many award nominations. And I found this much better than TH's "Pirate" movie.

James David Sullivan

And by the way, I respectfully disagree with your cliche, "the camera never lies" - in fact the camera ALWAYS lies - or else we wouldn't have movies - we'd simply have documentaries.

Martin Johnston

You are not the first person to mention the value and necessity of the flashbacks but the director and screenwriter of the film felt they were an integral part of the storytelling and I respect their decision. As it fully sheds light upon where the story comes from. It seems that what the film has achieved, is to divide opinion and make everyone a screenwriter/director. I found the flashbacks an integral and insightful part of understanding the motivations and drives of defining whom P L Travers was and what seeds of personal experience aided her in her writing of Mary Poppins and fully explained her need to protect the story and her intransigence to what Walt Disney wanted to do with her personal story. I found it a beautiful and heartwarming film and thought the performances of Hanks and especially Thompson mesmerising. But like you, Ron, I am only expressing my personal opinion.

Stephen Mitchell

I was not eager to see this film until I started watching it and it won me over. What more can you ask of a film? :)

Ron Greenfield

It did win me over. It definitely is Thompson's film, but acting was wonderful. Thee scene that did for me was between Hanks and Thompson in her London house. Honest and authentic acting. The real deal.

Ron Greenfield

Sorry James, I disagree with you. In the larger context the camera doesn't lie. It picks up "everything" You can't lie to it and when you have acting of this caliber, that indeed is something to make believable.

James David Sullivan

ET is not Mary Travers. The camera makes us believe that she is. Thus the camera does lie. A believable lie is what great acting is all about.

Ron Greenfield

To a point I would agree and on that note James, have yourself a very happy and fruitful New Year.

James David Sullivan

HNY 2014 to you as well!

Brian Flinchbaugh

I was a bit surprised when Saving Mr. Banks didn't receive a nomination, an even more surprised when Emma Thompson was left out.

James David Sullivan

I was also very surprised by both snubs. I really didn't like Hanks' "Pirate" movie, but it received a BP nod.

James David Sullivan

When did Streep go after Disney's ghost? Was it before Oscar balloting had concluded?

James David Sullivan

Meryl Streep took aim at Disney at a dinner just prior to January 8, 2014. And note this: "Streep, for once, wasn’t invited to accept an award. Instead, she was there to honor Emma Thompson for her portrait as 'Mary Poppins' creator P.L. Travers in Disney’s 'Saving Mr. Banks'.” - http://variety.com/2014/biz/awards/meryl-streep-blasts-walt-disney-at-na...

James David Sullivan

Oscar nomination voting ended on January 8, 2014, at 5 PM PST: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/

James David Sullivan

Streep's attack on Disney occurred on Tuesday, roughly 24 hours before the Oscar nominations deadline. I don't know if ballots have to be mailed or can be completed online. But raising such an issue might certainly have knocked "Saving Mr. Banks" out of the running, and all those involved in it. http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jan/08/meryl-streep-walt-disney-ant...

James David Sullivan

Ballots can be submitted both online and via mail: http://www.goldderby.com/news/5295/academy-awards-oscars-nominations-bal...

James David Sullivan

CORRECTION: Oscar balloting officially ended at 5:30 PM Pacific Time on January 8, rather than 5:00 PM: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/about/voting.html

James David Sullivan

Current Oscar rules allow between 5 to 10 pictures to be nominated for the Best Picture Award. This year there were only 9 nominations. Could "Saving Mr. Banks" been the tenth? http://variety.com/2014/film/news/james-schamus-reveals-secrets-of-the-o...

Ron Greenfield

Thank you James for all the updates. Very possibly "Saving Mr. Banks" could have been the 10th nomination but we'll never know and quite possibly, since the academy loves Streep, it could have impacted the voting. On another note, Walt Disney, was really a major SOB. and that's being polite. When I first came to LA, I had met some of the original animators who worked for him and some of the stories would make your hair stand on end.

Ron Greenfield

It did surprise me that Emma Thompson wasn't nominated but this is Cate Blanchett's year. Unless there is some major upset, she is the hands down favorite.

Brian Flinchbaugh

Cate Blanchett will surely win, but Emma Thompson was long considered a certain nomination. I expected Amy Adams to take Meryl Streep's spot in, since people also aren't crazy about her movie. I guess she gets in simply because she's Meryl Streep.

Ron Greenfield

I think Emma Thompson should have been nominated although had some problems with the continuity in "Saving Mr.Banks." And Brian, you can't say anything deragatory about Meryl Streepto me. An actress of this caliber rarely comes along in many generations, even in some of her not so great films. Rarely, if every have I seen an actress, get into the skin of a character like Streep does. In case you've never seen it, there is a film she did with DeNiro called "Falling in Love." Not a great film by any means, but there are moments and choices she makes as an actress that are nothing short of brilliant.

Brian Flinchbaugh

Would you have taken Adams out for Thompson?

Ron Greenfield

Yes.

James David Sullivan

@Brian - by "people also aren't crazy about her movie" are you referrring to Streep (Osage) or Adams (Hustle)?

James David Sullivan

Disney may well have been a terrible person. Steve Jobs was rumored to have a similar lack of "people skills". Both dramatically changed the world. Disney has provided countless hours of family entertainment, not to mention the amusement parks. And Jobs led the way in the PC and later cell phone revolution. Revolutionary people don't always win popularity awards. I just think it would have been more dignified had Streep waited before starting her hatchet job. Right now, it looks like she may have intended to sabotage "Banks" and everything attached to it. And because that would also eliminate a potential competitor for this year's Oscar, that doesn't look very good. I agree with you about Streep's acting talent. She's one of the greatest who has ever lived. But if she has to stoop to this type of tactic to promote herself, that bothers me.

James David Sullivan

@Ron - You are in a unique position to test how likely it was that Streep's diatribe 8-balled "Banks". If you were to call a few people you know in the Academy and ask them when they voted, say 10 for a small sample, that could tell a lot. If most voted online on the last day....

James David Sullivan

By the way, this is a story that will eventually be investigated, regardless of what the results are. The journalist who first publishes this could receive a lot of reporting kudos.

James David Sullivan

Quotable Quotes for $200, Alex: "I'm thinking of my friend...." http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/138262/A-Lot-Of-Surprises-and-Inju...

James David Sullivan

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks" http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/01/meryl-streeps-femi... "I'm shocked, simply shocked to hear about such a snub! - Round up the usual suspects!"

Ron Greenfield

James, that may be so, I don't know that much about Jobs, but Disney, visionary aside, was a real piece of work and treated people horrifically. He wasn't all warm and fuzzy.

James David Sullivan

People on a mission aren't always as nice as we would like.

Beth Fox Heisinger

While performances in "Saving Mr. Banks" are fantastic, this film at its core is mendacious. This version of events and this portrayal of P. L. Travers makes my stomach turn. After Travers painfully watched the Disney machine alter her beloved Mary Poppins, turning it into something she loathed, the Disney machine just did it again -- to her.

Martin Johnston

Those who knew P.L. Travers says that Thompson's portrayal is spot on. Travers was by no means an easy or indeed likeable woman and nor was Disney. I feel the film coveys this perfectly.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Actually, no, they did not portray Travers truthfully in the film. Yes, she was a pill. And, yes, she was hard to deal with. But, she was a pioneer. A women who blatantly stood up to men. She made her own path. She was not a spinster or an old maid -- as shown in the film. She had relationships and adopted a son... Anyway, what I'm referring to is the constant whitewashing of Walt Disney's hatred of women. His sexism. He blatantly blocked women from working in animation. He bullied Travers. Wore her down. She finally submitted because she needed the money. Need I go into the misogamic premise in almost all early Disney films... you know, the death of the "mother" and the evil or abusive "stepmother" and the virginal, goodie-two-shoes "princess" waiting for a prince to save her and everyone from "the evil of women's scorn".... Again, this film -- despite its great performances and feel-good story line -- is a version of events that is mendacious. False. Based on half-truths. Sexism is a problem in Hollywood and this film fits the bill, only in sweet Disney fashion.

Martin Johnston

I'm not disagreeing with you about Disney but where I tend to disagree with you is in your belief that it was Disney who created the characters upon which his films exploited. Have you ever read the fairytales of Grimm? Written way before Disney created his films. Indeed all fairytales have the stock characters that you cite as Disney having a hatred off or how the male would save the day. The death of the mother, the evil, almost sadistic step-mother, the 'ugly sisters' are characters also seen in early Chinese tales. I don't doubt your assertion that he hated women, I have heard similar and how he prevented them from furthering their careers within his empire. But factually his representation of folk/fairytale is but a reflection of the themes contained within those stories and the characters. This is also seen in the musical by Sondheim 'Into The Woods', which later this year gets a cinema release. This too explores the themes of the roles played by such characters in these stories. There is a fascinating book, The Uses of Enchantment The Meaning and Importance of Fairytales by Bruno Bettleheim. A brilliant read and equally a great insight into how to create a 'fairy' story, making use of the characters and themes that have a psychological significance. I too share your belief that sexism is a major problem however and sadly not only within the film industry but in society overall.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Indeed, it is sad Martin. But, no, I do not think Walt Disney himself exploited folk or fairytale characters. Nonetheless, his hatred of women is clearly evident. He was the creative head of Disney, was he not? What I'm saying is in "Saving Mr. Banks" Disney Films has created a false version of events. The persona of Walt Disney is always protected. The truth is once again whitewashed. It's given the "Disney sweet" treatment. That P.L. Travers was worn down by Walt and finally submitted to the sale of her beloved character. Then, she helplessly watched Walt Disney and his team turn Mary Poppins into something she hated. Now in 2013, her own story of how she sold Mary Poppins to Walt Disney is twisted, false. Given the "Disney sweet" treatment. Sorry, but this is a case where sugar does not make the medicine go down.

James David Sullivan
  1. First of all, Ms. Travers always had other options. She could have said "no" and found other ways to support herself. 2. Disney, like all other producers, wanted to make money and he knew how to do it. His view of "Mary Poppins" has delighted millions upon millions of people. Even today, as soon as I see the phrase "based on a true story" or "inspired by actual events" I know the movie is probably less factual than a work of fiction that makes no such claims. 3. Writers, whether men or women, seldom get the credit or pay they deserve. 4. We can beat up dead people all day long, but that really does little to solve problems today. 5. The era that Disney lived through was quite a bit different than today. I don't say that to excuse what he did; it's just a different culture.
Chanel Ashley

Disney a misogynist? Sexism? PL Travers from Queensland? All news to me and of no consequence, I loved this movie - I thought the flashbacks detracted, not my favourite part of the film, but Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson were excellent in their respective roles, especially when they were in the same room - I wish Hollywood made more films like this, a decent story and an engaging one at that - it restores my faith that they can still make films beyond and devoid of guns and explosions, CGI and SFX - not many Hollywood film today could fulfil that criteria, but they did here and succeeded, bravo.

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