Film Screening 15th March, 2014

Poster for Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks 

7:00 PM, 15th March, 2014
No Guests

  • PG
  • 125 mins
  • 2013
  • John Lee Hancock
  • Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
  • Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman

When his daughters were young, Walt Disney made them a promise: he would one day make their favourite books about a magical nanny into a movie. One thing his didn’t count on was the refusal of author P.L. Travers to surrender her character to the Mickey Mouse Machine. Two decades later, she finds herself needing to reconsider and Walt flies her to the US to personally convince her, but finds it will take more than a spoonful of sugar to win her over.

As an avid reader of Walt Disney biographies in my youth (I was a bit of a weird kid), I was not surprised that his struggle to get Mary Poppins made has become the focus of this quasi biopic. Tom Hanks is superb as Disney, bringing the legend to the big screen as a real person and Emma Thompson is equally brilliant as the haughty Travers, stuffy without hamming it up too much and revealing the hidden heartache behind the classic character and her creator.

There is admittedly something suspect about the story of one woman’s fight against her characters getting the Disney treatment being given, well, the Disney treatment. But nonetheless, this is a charming film. Special mention must go to the supporting cast, particularly Jason Schwartzman and BJ Novak as the song-writing Sherman brothers who penned Poppins’s classic songs and to Colin Farrell in a touching performance as the author’s late father. Definitely one to watch if you’re a Mary Poppins fan.

Emma Petrie

Poster for Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins 

9:15 PM, 15th March, 2014

  • G
  • 139 mins
  • 1964
  • Robert Stevenson
  • Bill Walsh, Don Da Gradi
  • Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns

Celebrating its landmark 50th anniversary this year, Mary Poppins is one of that select group of films that can truly be called ‘Classic’. The story, which I think most people know, is the tale of a magical nanny who brings families closer.

As a kid, I loved this movie. I saw it again recently and I am happy to say that I still loved it for both the same reasons I did before and some new ones. With songs both silly and sublime, seamless intermeshing of live performance and animation and the undeniable magnetism of the main characters it is nearly impossible NOT to like this film.

While American stage and TV star Dick Van Dyke was an odd choice to play a Cockney chimney sweep, he was a gifted mime and physical comedian, and had such a wholesome exuberance that audiences can forgive his somewhat shaky accent. But Julie Andrews, in her first film, truly makes this film! Passed over by Jack Warner for the movie version of her stage hit, "My Fair Lady" (he opted for Audrey Hepburn), Disney instantly decided that Andrews was the perfect Mary Poppins and approached her for the role. ‘But I’m pregnant,’ she told him. ‘No problem,’ he replied. ‘I’ll wait!’ Good decision Mr Disney!So while it may seem precocious, I loudly proclaim this film to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious out of 5.

Tamara Lee