Disney pretty much has all of its Oscar bases covered with Saving Mr. Banks. Not only is the story interesting and relevant to the Mouse House, following Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers and her rocky relationship with Walt Disney, but it also has quite an assemblage of talent in front of and behind the camera. Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman, and Ruth Wilson are all on board, with The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock at the helm. It all amounts to a film that seems ready-made for a Best Picture nomination, but is it perhaps a little too safe and comfortable?
After the first image dropped a couple of day ago, we know have the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks, and while it's definitely a charmer, it's also more than a little sappy and manufactured. Hanks plays the legendary Mouse House founder, who fought with Travers to let his studio adapt Mary Poppins to the big screen, but she's reluctant because the character of Mr. Banks is based on her own father, and she considers the story extremely special. Speaking of special, the trailer goes a little overboard in trying to get across just how important Walt Disney was, but there's no denying Hanks looks great in the role, and he has strong chemistry with Thompson.
The last film similar to this was 2004's J.M. Barrie biopic, Finding Neverland, which was nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Johnny Depp. Could Saving Mr. Banks replicate that success? We'll find out when it opens on December 13th.