SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews “Saving Mr. Banks”, the story of Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) film adaptation of P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) books about Mary Poppins. Also reviewed is “The Armstrong Lie,” a documentary about the rise and fall of cyclist Lance Armstrong.
KCBS Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl:
SAVING MR. BANKS (PG-13)
Emma Thompson has two Oscars (one for Adapted Screenplay “Sense and Sensibility and one for Lead Actress “Howard’s End”). This performance will bring her a possible third for its strength and honesty. She portrays bestselling author P.L. Travers, having children everywhere fall in love with her Mary Poppins. But to the stern and complicated Miss Travers, Poppins is far more than a magical nanny.
When Walt Disney becomes determined to make a Mary Poppins movie, Travers tries to control every aspect of it while time traveling into the origins of Poppins herself. Director John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side” 2009) beautifully tells the two stories at once, reminding us that we all live with emotional baggage from our childhoods. Half fun. Half poignant. All terrific! A special hats off to Tom Hanks for taking on the iconic Walt Disney. It all works.
THE ARMSTRONG LIE (NOT RATED)
In 2009 filmmaker Alex Gibney was making a film about Lance Armstrong’s return to professional cycling. Instead, he changed it to reflect a international doping scandal that erupted around this famed athlete. This is not just a sports story, but one about power, fame and the seduction of being number one.
We get many interviews with Armstrong, understanding that this is a man able to lie, throw colleagues under the bus and succeed as one of our most successful stars until, that is, it all goes down. Fascinating on many levels.
You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl’s movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.
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