AFI Fest: 'Saving Mr. Banks' Aims To Become Third Consecutive Movie About Hollywood To Win Top Oscar
One of the last players in this year's Oscar game has finally shown its cards stateside.
On Thursday evening, Walt Disney Pictures kicked off the 27th AFI Fest at Hollywood's historic TCL Chinese Theatre with the U.S. premiere of its primary live-action awards hopeful, John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks. (The film's world premiere…
The dramedy revolves around the amusing interactions between P.L. Travers (two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson), the no-nonsense British woman who wrote the novel Mary Poppins, and Walt Disney (two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks), the all-American movie mogul who fought for 20 years to convince her to sell him its film rights. It cuts between her two-week visit to Hollywood in 1961 to meet with him and his collaborators as they tried to win her script approval, and flashbacks to her early 20th century upbringing in Australia, in the home of a loving but alcoholic father (Colin Farrell).
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: 'Saving Mr. Banks' Cast on the 'Complex' P. L. Travers
Hancock's last film, The Blind Side (2009), was a schmaltzy but charming tearjerker -- and wound up with Oscar nominations for best picture and best actress. My strong sense is that this film, which fits the same description but has the added benefit of being a movie about Hollywood (like the last two best picture Oscar winners, The Artist and Argo), will land the same two nods, as well as a supporting actor slot for Hanks (who could also score in the lead actor category for Captain Phillips). Farrell and Paul Giamatti also have outside chances of cracking into that category, as it is rather wide-open this year. And perennial Academy bridesmaid Thomas Newman -- who has been nominated for the best original score Oscar 11 times, more than anyone else alive who has not yet won -- will, in all likelihood, get another shot for this film.