Slamming Saving Mr. Banks & ranting about Philomena… While noting–with a big sigh–that neither of these films supposedly “about women” pass the Bechdel Test 🙁

SAVING MR. BANKSSaving Mr. Banks Poor Ginty: Her handsome Dad (Colin Farrell) is a hopeless drunk. But somehow, after his early death, young Ginty (Annie Rose Buckley) morphs into crusty “P.L. Travers” the author of Mary Poppins (Emma Thompson) & it takes years for Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to unfreeze her.

Phooey!!! Another film in which a fascinating woman is robbed of her story while the audience is fed pabulum. (JLH: 2.5/5)

Directed by John Lee Hancock based on a screenplay by Kelly Marcel & Sue Smith. Never to be seen by Rich. Click HERE for our FF2 Haiku for Saving Mr. Banks.

Top Photo: Colin Farrell as handsome “Travers Goff” with his adoring daughter “Ginty” (Annie Rose Buckley) in rural Australia. Middle Photo: Tom Hanks gives “P.L. Travers” a personal tour of Disney Land. Note that P.L., born Helen Lydon Goff, had a much more fascinating life than you would ever guess from this–alas it must be said–Disney Version of sugar-coated reality.

The film has no energy or tension. We know from the start that Mary Poppins will get the full Disney treatment complete with “Supercalafajalistickespeealadojus” & dancing penguins, so why must we wait & wait for awful P.T. (presented as a fussy maiden aunt badly in need of an enema) to just give in & go with the flow???

Saving Mr. Banks Photo Credits: François Duhamel


Philomena So disappointing! An Irish teen is forced to work in a convent laundry for four years only to have her illegitimate son stolen from her & sold to a wealthy American couple. Terrific story is transformed into a hackneyed Odd Couple Road Trip when Philomena goes in search of her son 50 years later. Too much Steve Coogan as journalist Martin Sixsmith, but not enough Judi Dench or Sophie Kennedy Clark as “Young Philomena.” (JLH: 2.5/5)

Directed by Stephen Frears based on a self-serving screenplay by Steve Coogan (with Jeff Pope) adapting Martin Sixsmith’s book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee. Seen by Rich & he agrees. Click HERE for our FF2 Haiku for Philomena.


Bottom Photo:  Odd Couple (Judy Dench & Steve Coogan) sets off for America in search of answers that are hiding in plain site at home.  Philomena Photo Credits: Alex Bailey

Q: Why double up? Note that, according to my own rules for this Blog, I technically don’t have to say anything about Philomena since it was neither written nor directed by women filmmakers. However these films are a “matched set” causing me great distress in this 2014 Oscar Season.

Judi Dench & Emma Thompson have both been nominated for Golden Globe Awards in the Best Actress (Drama) category, but I think these are “lazy nominations” intended to “placate the ladies,” & either nomination is deserved.

Not that they aren’t terrific actresses–of course they are & I love them both–nevertheless I don’t think either part is a “stretch.” They are both narrowly confined within phallocentric screenplays & we are never even allowed to ask how either girl became a woman. (For all it’s faults, at least The Iron Lady gave us this!)

There were many wonderful performances by terrific actresses in outstanding films this year (2013), so I want to shout out this out loud & clear:

Readers: Please do not waste your time, energy, or cash on either one of these films!!!

OK, I’m done now 🙂

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