the_secret_life_of_walter_mitty_posterThe Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Directed By: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Adam Scott, Shirley MacClaine, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Pen, Adrian Martinez

This is a movie for dreamers. It’s about a guy who spends his whole life dreaming of what could be, who ends up going on an adventure to places we all dream about visiting. Helmed by a surprisingly subtle and genuine Ben Stiller (except for one particularly ridiculous scene) The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty was a delightful, witty, uplifting, end of the year surprise.

Let’s face it; we all have a little bit of Walter Mitty in us. We wake up, we go to work, we get crushes on co-workers, and we daydream about how we could make our lives better. And if (or when) an opportunity should arise to have an adventure of a lifetime, we hope we would jump head first. Sometimes we get stuck in the routine of it all and we need the courage to take a risk. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty brings out our sense of adventure. It makes us want to travel, it makes us want to talk to that cute boy (or girl) we’ve been thinking about, it makes us what to hug our Mom, stand up to our jerk of a boss, and gather the courage to jump into the unknown.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is a beautiful movie in more ways than one. Like I said, it’s a movie for dreamers, so only go see this movie if you love to dream. Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig will not disappoint.  Rating: B




Saving Mr. Banks
Directed By: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Bradley Whitford, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, BJ Novak, Kathy Baker

The premise of this movie will tell you Walt Disney’s story of how he convinced P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins to sell it’s rights so he could turn int into a movie. But this film less about Disney and more about Travers. I have always loved Mary Poppins and think back to the movie fondly, but what I didn’t realize, until watching this movie actually, is the darker side to the story (Seriously, check out Wikipedia, Mary Poppins is dark.). P.L. Travers is a bitter, rude, British woman who is holding on to Mary Poppins so tightly she resistant to let Disney turn the story into a Hollywood disaster. Desperate to make it as difficult as possible for all the players involved, Mrs. Travers tests her limits with how far Walt Disney will go to please her. But her rude and callous façade is all an act. Mrs. Travers is mean, because she’s hurting and she finds her past sneaking up on her as the movie comes to life.

Emma Thompson is a wonder as P.L. Travers, she manages to make the character likeable even when she does such rude and hateful things. We feel pity for her rather than dislike for her. And the more we learn about her past and just how much the story of Mary Poppins mirrors her own troubled past, we understand just how much this character means. The story of Mary Poppins isn’t all cartoon birds, and bottomless bags, and lighthearted songs. It is actually a dark and twisted story depressing about kids that feel abandoned by the father they love so much. Mary Poppins doesn’t come in to save the day, she comes in to care for the children when their father cannot. When Travers finally lets the story go (as we know she doesn’t because hey, it’s a beloved movie!) it’s a wonderful catharsis for her that will bring tears to your eyes.

Saving Mr. Banks is unexpectedly wonderful. While Tom Hanks is lovely this movie as Walt Disney [Random Thought: Was Walt Disney really that delightful?] this belongs to Emma Thompson and the wonderful way she portrays the author whose works we so adore. This is definitely a movie worth watching. Rating: A-





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