The Horn Book’s annual busman’s holiday took us to the movies to see Saving Mr. Banks. We laughed, we cried; it’s not a very good movie but the star power and chemistry of Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks kept me involved. I hear from more knowledgeable sources that the film is at some distance from the facts, but really, did the filmmakers actually expect us to believe that Travers tapped her toes and danced about in joy as she and her scruples are swept away by “Let’s Go Fly a Kite“? And Hanks’ looooong monologue in which he explains to “Pam” her Daddy issues was bad movie-making as well as bad history. Don’t get me started on the flashbacks–as Shara Hardeson pointed out afterward, it was as if the movie didn’t trust us to make our own connections, underlining Travers’ every move and motive with a footnote flashback to her Queensland childhood.
But go for the performances–Hanks all unctuous geniality, Thompson caustic-sexy. Sparks do fly.