Watch CBS News

Jan Wahl Movie Review: 'Saving Mr. Banks' & 'The Armstrong Lie'

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews "Saving Mr. Banks", the story of Walt Disney's (Tom Hanks) film adaptation of P.L. Travers' (Emma Thompson) books about Mary Poppins. Also reviewed is "The Armstrong Lie," a documentary about the rise and fall of cyclist Lance Armstrong.

KCBS Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl:

Jan Wahl Movie Reviews: Saving Mr. Banks & The Armstrong Lie


Emma Thompson has two Oscars (one for Adapted Screenplay "Sense and Sensibility and one for Lead Actress "Howard's End"). This performance will bring her a possible third for its strength and honesty. She portrays bestselling author P.L. Travers, having children everywhere fall in love with her Mary Poppins. But to the stern and complicated Miss Travers, Poppins is far more than a magical nanny.

Saving Mr. Banks Official Trailer by Walt Disney Studios on YouTube

When Walt Disney becomes determined to make a Mary Poppins movie, Travers tries to control every aspect of it while time traveling into the origins of Poppins herself. Director John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side" 2009) beautifully tells the two stories at once, reminding us that we all live with emotional baggage from our childhoods. Half fun. Half poignant. All terrific! A special hats off to Tom Hanks for taking on the iconic Walt Disney. It all works.

Four hats.



In 2009 filmmaker Alex Gibney was making a film about Lance Armstrong's return to professional cycling. Instead, he changed it to reflect a international doping scandal that erupted around this famed athlete. This is not just a sports story, but one about power, fame and the seduction of being number one.

The Armstrong Lie | Official Trailer HD (2013) by Sony Pictures Classics on YouTube

We get many interviews with Armstrong, understanding that this is a man able to lie, throw colleagues under the bus and succeed as one of our most successful stars until, that is, it all goes down. Fascinating on many levels.

Three hats.


Movies To See Right Now: Captain Phillips, Nebraska, Philomena, The Book Thief, All Is Lost, Blue Jasmine, 12 Years A Slave & Dallas Buyers Club.

Home Viewing/DVD: Lee Daniels' The Butler, The Spectacular Now, The Way Way Back, The Bling Ring, & Don Jon.

You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl's movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.