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The Playlist

BFI London Film Festival Review: 'Saving Mr. Banks' With Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 20, 2013 6:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Saving Mr. Banks
Though the general public doesn't always share their enthusiasm, Hollywood loves making movies about itself. Whether fictional or based in reality, it's rare for a year to pass without some kind of film about filmmaking, from classics like "Sunset Boulevard" and "Mulholland Drive" to, uh, not-classics like "Hitchcock." In recent years, "The Artist" and "Argo" have both been critical and commercial successes (and not coincidentally, Best Picture Oscar winners), and Disney are clearly hoping that the same kind of success follows for "Saving Mr. Banks," which examines one of the family friendly company's most beloved films, 1964's "Mary Poppins," and their own founder and figurehead, Walt Disney, here played by megastar Tom Hanks.

Oscars: A Look At The Best Actress Front-Runners, Including Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock & Amy Adams

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 16, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 32 Comments
Received wisdom has it that, in most years, the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards is less competitive than their male equivalent. It's certainly true, if it even needs to be said, that great roles for women are far, far less common than they are for men. But one only has to think of the performances that haven't been nominated in recent years to realize that it's not the lack of talent out there, so much as the Academy, or even the prognosticators, tending to be a little more conservative in their picks.

Casting: Milla Jovovich Is A 'Survivor,' Lake Bell Scores A 'Coup,' John Magaro Is 'Unbroken' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 8, 2013 11:19 AM
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  • 1 Comment
While James McTeigue for a moment seemed like the next great blockbuster hopeful following "V For Vendetta," the diminishing returns of "Ninja Assassin" and "The Raven" have found him directing his leanest movie yet. Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson and Angela Bassett will star in "Survivor," a thriller that'll shoot in January.

Watch: Trailer For Disney Porn/'Mary Poppins' Prequel 'Saving Mr. Banks' Starring Tom Hanks

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 11, 2013 12:40 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Saving Mr. Banks Tom Hanks Emma Thompson
The talent is immense and extensive—Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Ruth Wilson and more—the story is interesting (the true tale of Walt Disney's attempt to get "Mary Poppins" made, and it's Oscar chances solidified by having John Lee Hancock, the director behind the feel-good smash hit “The Blind Side,” at the helm. So then why does the first trailer for "Saving Mr. Banks" feel like a long three-minute commercial for the magic of Walt Disney and its resorts?

First Look At Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson In Walt Disney/'Mary Poppins' Story 'Saving Mr. Banks'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 10, 2013 10:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Saving Mr. Banks Tom Hanks Emma Thompson
As always, the Oscar race is still pretty hazy from this far out, but it's safe to say that anything involving Tom Hanks is likely to be in the mix. Indeed, we said as much when we made some (way too early) predictions back in early spring, but it can't be denied that on paper, "Saving Mr. Banks" looks like a strong awards season horse. And we have our first look at the movie.

Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2014 Best Actress Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 28, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 30 Comments
The recent Oscars, it should be said, were not a headline year for the Best Actress race. Of course Emmanuelle Riva, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence et al were thoroughly deserving of their nominations, but the category was generally deemed to be a bit thin by Oscar watchers, with something of a dearth of good female roles, bar the five that were nominated (plus a handful of others overlooked by the Academy, like Marion Cotillard in "Rust and Bone" and Emayatzy Corinealdi in "Middle of Nowhere").

Review: 'Beautiful Creatures' A Stylish Southern Gothic Riff On 'Twilight' That Gets Tangled In Its Own Mythology

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 13, 2013 11:20 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Just as the "Harry Potter" franchise begat a number of costly imitators that failed to catch on (just think: "Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events," "The Spiderwick Chronicles," "Cirque du Freak"), so too will the unstoppable "Twilight" franchise breed countless would-be successors, each with some kind of otherworldly overtones and always with star-crossed lovers that defy the odds to be together (hello, "I Am Number Four"). Earlier this month we had zombies-in-love lark "Warm Bodies" and now we get "Beautiful Creatures," which transplants the Pacific Northwest setting of "Twilight" for the earthy Deep South and swaps that series' emphasis on vampires and werewolves for some much-needed attention to witches. Also, it's the kind of movie that heavily features not only Civil War flashbacks but also modern day kids participating in Civil War battlefield recreations. I do declare!

'The Devil Wears Prada' Scribe Aline Brosh McKenna To Rewrite 'Annie' Remake

  • By Ryan Gowland
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  • July 27, 2012 1:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Hey, remember a year ago when Will Smith wanted Emma Thompson to write him a remake of the musical "Annie" for his daughter Willow Smith to star in? Well, apparently, it's still happening, but now Smith wants another writer to work on Thompson's script.

4 Pics Of Dakota Fanning In The Period Drama 'Effie'

  • By Ryan Gowland
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  • June 8, 2012 9:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments
For a while there last year, it looked like Emma Thompson's script for the film "Effie" was never going to reach production. The film is based on the true love affair between Victorian artist, architect, poet and political thinker John Ruskin and his wife, Effie Gray, and the mysterious circumstances over why their marriage was never consummated, leaving Effie a virgin until she remarried Ruskin's protege, painter John Everett Millais. While Thompson assuredly has her own take as to why Ruskin suddenly became disgusted with his wife, playwright Gregory Murphy felt Thompson's script was too close to his 1999 play "The Countess," and sued for copyright infringement in February of last year. The end result was a delay in production, with Saoirse Ronan ultimately departing the project and being replaced by Dakota Fanning prior to a fall start.

'Brave' Soundtrack Features Mumford & Sons, Emma Thompson & Julie Fowlis

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 9, 2012 2:04 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Details are starting to squeak by in the lead-up to the June 22nd launch of Disney/Pixar's newest bauble, "Brave." The first details of the "Brave" soundtrack (it will be released physically, unlike "Toy Story 3" and "Up" which were exclusively digital downloads) have emerged from Amazon (via UpcomingPixar), and it looks like the disc is set to include tracks featuring Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, a song featuring Birdy along with indie darlings Mumford & Sons (presumably over the closing credits) and a pair of songs featuring members of the cast (Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson, most notably). The rest of the tracks are orchestral cues from Patrick Doyle's score.

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