All films based on real events should have historical license. The most important thing is trying to tell the best story possible, and if that means playing a little fast and loose with the facts, then so be it. But when those facts become elastic in order to serve an agenda coated in mawkish sentiment, then history a serious consideration rather than a suggestion. In the case of Saving Mr. Banks, Disney is attempting to rewrite history in service of bolstering the argument of corporate wisdom seducing the misguided artist who doesn’t understand that synergy is the best way to catharsis. The film pays a bit of lip service to cold studio pragmatism, and Tom Hanks is at his most charming, but Saving Mr. Banks‘ warm, sunny attitude can’t mask calculating, self-congratulatory motives.
Disney has released two new behind-the-scenes featurettes for director John Lee Hancock’s upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks. The film’s story focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two. The film is considered a potential Oscar contender, especially as far as Hanks and Thompson’s performances are concerned. One of these two featurettes explores how Hanks approached playing Walt Disney in what will be the first time the visionary has ever been portrayed onscreen, while the second featurette delves into the music of Mary Poppins, as B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman play the legendary Sherman Brothers.
Hit the jump to watch the new featurettes, and if you missed Steve’s lengthy and wide-ranging chat with Hanks, click here. The film also stars Bradley Whitford, Paul Giamatti, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, and Colin Farrell. Saving Mr. Banks opens in limited release on December 13th before expanding wide on December 20th.
Saving Mr. Banks tells the tale of when Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) invited Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to his studio in Los Angeles in 1961, to discuss his interest in obtaining the movie rights to her beloved book and character. While there, Travers, who had been resistant for 20 years, spent two weeks uncompromisingly fighting every idea and suggestion, on the road to bringing this classic to the big screen.
At a press conference to promote the film’s release, co-stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks talked about bringing the essence of these people to life without doing an exact imitation, what they learned about these individuals from playing them, the characters they were each obsessed with, growing up, and what P.L. Travers might have thought of this film. Thompson also addressed whether there might ever be another Nanny McPhee movie. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
This weekend we saw three more critics groups announce awards for the 2013 movie season, and now it’s the American Film Institute’s turn. Today, AFI unveiled its Top 10 films and TV shows of the year, and the film list includes Oscar frontrunners Gravity and 12 Years a Slave as well as burgeoning contenders like American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Her. Over on the TV side of things, usual suspects like Mad Men and Breaking Bad made the cut, but so did Netflix’s original series House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black as well as Showtime’s Masters of Sex and ABC’s smash hit Scandal. The sole comedy on the list of HBO’s excellent Veep.
Hit the jump to check out the full Top 10 lists for movies and television.
The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013. Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station). Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners. Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.
The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects. Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.
In Collider’s ongoing awards feature Oscar Beat, we recently took a look at the state of the Best Actor Oscar race, which is looking to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. Likewise, this year’s Best Actress race is chock-full of fantastic performances and serious contenders, but we’ve had a frontrunner for the category since July and Cate Blanchett’s name remains atop the pile as we head into the thick of the race. Will Blanchett remain the favorite over the next three months or is there another contender more worthy of the trophy? Can any of the brilliant performances from this year’s smaller indies crack the top five? Read on after the jump as we examine the current state of the Best Actress category.
Next month, John Lee Hancock’s (The Blind Side) Saving Mr. Banks will open in theaters. Based on the true story, the pic focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two when she finally came to Hollywood. Loaded with great performances, a strong script, and the first time Walt Disney has been portrayed on screen, Banks is a likely contender for this year’s award season. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin Farrell.
At the recent Los Angeles press day, only a few other reporters and I had an intimate thirty-minute roundtable interview with Hanks. While I’ve been running Collider for over eight years, this was the first time I’d gotten to interview Hanks and am happy to report he’s as nice, friendly, and honest as everyone says. During the interview, he talked about his initial reluctance to play Disney, how he was convinced to do the role, his process as an actor and if it’s changed over the years, the way Cloud Atlas changed him, what it was like to work with Paul Greengrass on Captain Phillips, future directing plans, and so much more. It’s a great interview. Hit the jump for more.
Disney has released the first clip and two featurettes for John Lee Hancock‘s Saving Mr. Banks. The story focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two. Judging by the brief clip, which centers on the first meeting between Disney and Travers, the two lead actors look like they’ll have some good chemistry. As for the featurettes, one explains the appeal of the story, and the other celebrates Thompson’s performance. The latter is a bit confusing since everyone is praising the complexity of the character and the depth of Thompson’s performance, but all we’re seeing is a prim-and-proper fish-out-of-water. At the end of the featurette, we get a glimpse of the dramatic side, but I’m worried these moments will feel forced in the movie. My current prediction is that Hancock has created a nice picture that will invite backlash if it picks up any awards steam.
Hit the jump to check out the clip and featurettes. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin Farrell. Saving Mr. Banks will premiere at AFI Fest in November and opens in theaters on December 20th.
This year’s Oscar race is proving to be one of the most competitive in recent years. With Gravity and 12 Years a Slave already announcing themselves as major frontrunners in multiple categories, well-received smaller dramas duking it out to overtake the top spot, and films from Martin Scorsese and David O. Russell still on the way, there’s not a lot of breathing room. Perhaps that’s why we’ve already seen a number of would-be contenders get the heck out of Dodge and move to 2014 with the latest being George Clooney’s World War II drama The Monuments Men.
The pic had all the staples of an Academy favorite, but with its release now shifted to next February, which of the other contenders might benefit from its absence? We discuss that and more in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat after the jump.
Disney has released a few new images from director John Lee Hancock’s (The Blind Side) upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks. The pic focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two. All eyes are on this one as a potential crowd-pleasing Oscar contender, and the first trailer definitely teased a pair of excellent performances from Hanks and Thompson. In these new images, we also get a look at Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak as brothers Richard and Robert Sherman, who composed the score and songs for the eventual Mary Poppins film.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin Farrell. Saving Mr. Banks will premiere at AFI Fest in November and opens in theaters on December 20th.
The Fall Film Festival season has come and gone, and with that we now have a pretty clear idea of the early state of the Oscar race. While initial awards projections were made mostly on conjecture and blind faith, a number of the major contenders have now had a chance to screen at the prestigious Telluride, Toronto, and Venice film festivals allowing critics and industry folk to assess the quality of heavy hitters such as Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Labor Day, and August: Osage County. Last year, an early Oscar frontrunner came out of nowhere at the Toronto International Film Festival in the form of Silver Linings Playbook, but this year an incredibly strong frontrunner has emerged with near-unanimous praise.
Hit the jump for a rundown of the Oscar race as it stands now, including our first Oscar Beat power rankings for the major categories.
Though the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival is poised to get underway tomorrow, another film festival has just set a couple of high profile premieres. Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks has been selected as the opening film for the AFI Fest 2013, and Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s drama Foxcatcher will make its world premiere at the fest. Banks comes with plenty of awards potential later this year, as The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock tackles the true story behind the making of Mary Poppins with Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney and Emma Thompson portraying Poppins author P.L. Travers. The film opens in wide release on Christmas Day.
Foxcatcher is also another Oscar contender, as the true story stars Steve Carell as eccentric millionaire John du Pont and chronicles his relationship with Olympic wrestling champions Mark and Dave Schultz (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), which ended in murder. That film is slated for release on December 20th. Hit the jump for the full press release. The AFI Fest 2013 runs from November 7th – 14th.
As the fall film festival season kicks this year’s Oscar Race into high gear this weekend, we thought it fitting to take one last early look at the Best Picture contenders before the nuttiness ensues. Yesterday we ran down 11 films that have a decent shot at becoming part of the upcoming Best Picture race, and today in the second part of this particular Oscar Beat column, we complete the list with 10 more potential contenders. Hit the jump to read on.
Disney wrapped its live-action presentation at the D23 convention earlier today, and shortly after the panel ended the studio unveiled title treatments for some of its upcoming films. Briefly:
- Tomorrowland – Directed by Brad Bird and written by Bird and Damon Lindelof, this secretive film stars George Clooney as an unspecified inventor. Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, and Thomas Robinson also star, and the “action-packed adventure” hits theaters on December 12, 2014.
- Maleficent – A reimagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty story told from the villain’s point of view. Angelina Jolie stars as the title character for director Robert Stromberg. Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, and Sam Riley also star, and the film opens on July 2, 2014.
- Muppets Most Wanted – The James Bobin-directed sequel stars Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell and opens in theaters on March 21, 2014.
- Saving Mr. Banks – Director John Lee Hancock’s film tells the true story behind the making of Mary Poppins as Tom Hanks portrays Walt Disney and Emma Thompson plays Poppins author P.L. Travers. The film opens wide this coming December 20th.
Hit the jump to check out the logos and click here to catch up on all of our D23 coverage thus far.
We’ve got a large number of new posters to share today. Briefly:
- X-Men: Days of Future Past – Fresh off yesterday’s excellent first character posters for the Bryan Singer sequel comes hi-res versions of the propaganda posters that were handed out at Comic-Con. Click here for our panel recap. The film opens on May 16, 2014.
- Edge of Tomorrow – A couple of character posters for Doug Liman’s sci-fi film feature Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in mech suits. Click here for our Comic-Con panel recap. The film opens on June 6, 2014.
- Elysium – A new poster for Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming film features a very bald Matt Damon. The film opens on August 9th.
- Saving Mr. Banks – The first poster for the story about the making of Mary Poppins boasts a Mickey Mouse shadow for Tom Hanks’ Walt Disney. The film opens on Christmas Day.
- Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters – A teaser poster for the upcoming YA adaptation, which opens on February 14, 2014.
- Mr. Peabody & Sherman – A teaser poster for the DreamWorks Animation film, opening on March 7, 2014.
- The Canyons – A debut poster for the Lindsay Lohan/James Deen cheesefest. The film opens in theaters and is available VOD on August 2nd.
Hit the jump to check out all of the posters.