12.24.2013

Secrets Secrets Are Actually Fun...

Secrets secrets are no fun. Secrets secrets HURT someone. Just kidding. I know my misleading opening line would have you believe I hated The Secret Life of Walter Mitty which actually isn't the case at all. I think everyone and their dog had sky-high expectations for this film after the first trailer debuted....but when you watch the movie it's not this epic thing that blows you away. It's understated and merely pleasant. I've found lately that the more I avoid trailers and previews (well except for with Ender's Game) the less expectations get in the way of enjoying something, and unfortunately I saw that trailer too many times to form my ideas for what the movie should be. With Mitty, it's hard not to constantly compare the film with its trailer and come to the conclusion that the film was lacking because of it....but if you do, you'll miss a movie that in its own right is actually pretty good!

For me I call this the Stranger Than Fiction effect where you place one of Hollywood's funnymen in a role that is a lot more understated and disappointment ensues in the film as a whole because it's not as funny as you thought it'd be. But like that film, the more you think about it after your initial like-but-not-love of it, the more you realize that it's a rather amiable movie with lots of good things to say. It keeps you thinking about it. For me, if a movie has done that it has completed its goal. If you let it, Mitty will grow on you. Yes, there were some types of scenes I wanted MORE of (the Benjamin Button spoof, in particular,) but I also understand the decision not to overcrowd the movie with an abundance of everything too. EMILY RATING: 7.5/10

Now I'll also give a short review on Friday's release of Saving Mr. Banks, the film depicting the struggles it took for Disney to get the rights to Mary Poppins from author P.L. Travers. This film features a powerhouse performance from Emma Thompson as she shows us Travers' insecurities and issues in handing over her creation to the mouse house. As someone who works in a profession of creative collaboration I completely GOT this film and loved what it had to say (especially the idea of taking our past experiences and choosing which way it is that we choose to see the world because of them.) But the movie isn't all about the collaboration. More specifically, it is all about the life of P.L. Travers as she flashes back to her childhood to recall the issues that made her the particular way that she is. She's an extremely hard protagonist to have, but luckily Thompson instills under her icy shell some warmth that makes you really feel for her character. 

What can I say? I'm a sucker for movies about movies and filmmaking. I thought the story behind Mary Poppins (which has admittedly NEVER been even close to my favorite Disney movie) was fascinating and gave me the urge to do a rewatch now that I can appreciate all the effort it took. After some research, I found that the movie wasn't completely factually accurate, but I loved it and what it was trying to say nonetheless. EMILY RATING: 8.5/10

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!

2 comments:

Sarah said...

I like movies like this. Pleasant, comfortable stories. Sounds good to me!

Johanna said...

I loved Saving Mr. Banks. I thought about it for days after, which is the ultimate stamp of love. There was so much to it. I highly recommend it.

Oh, and I do love Mary Poppins...books and movies. They are so different. And I think it's interesting when the works of art can stand on their own having been born of the same concept.