Hollywood rarely sends itself a valentine, much less a Christmas card, but Saving Mr. Banks, a mouthful of cotton candy about the persistent problems and insurmountable obstacles Walt Disney endured for 20 years trying to get Mary Poppins on the screen, is the kind of Disney entertainment the great man himself would have loved, constructed for the family market and wrapped in tinsel for the holiday season. The fact that it is entirely predictable, historically questionable and replete with the Disney philosophy that everything in life—no matter how sad or sordid—deserves a happy ending, is almost beside the point. In a time of dark, cynical, hopped-up movies about sex, violence and hopelessness, it adds some joy to a dismal year. Get your sugarplum early.
“You each have song books!” instructed two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson at a recent lunch celebrating Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. The film, which premieres next month and stars Tom Hanks as the fiery Walt Disney, is a charming, previously untold tale about the 20-year battle to make Mary Poppins.
Despite a running time of more than two hours and minus the kind of explosive violence that keeps action buffs yelling for more, Captain Phillips, the true story of the 2009 crisis at sea in which Somali pirates hijacked the unarmed U.S. cargo ship Maersk Alabama and held Captain Richard Phillips of Vermont as a hostage, makes for a gripping, seamlessly staged film that is certain to win Tom Hanks another Oscar nomination in the title role.
only in new york kids
A few days ago, a new work of art popped up in the bathroom of Lower East Side’s Lost Weekend boutique. It is called “The Great Gatspee,” and it is a toilet seat with Leonardo DiCaprio’s face on it.
No, Marcel Duchamp has not risen from the grave to comment on pop culture. It is Read More
INT. MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY — EVENING CINDY ADAMS is standing with a friend among a crowd of hundreds, surveying the black-tie attendees at the PEN Literary Gala, who include Philip Roth, Zadie Smith, Jay McInerney, Jennifer Egan, Candace Bushnell, Joanna Coles and Peter Godwin.
Ms. Adams is wearing a splashy, graphic print jacket and a bun atop her head. A stream of partygoers greet her. She is approached by the Transom and asked how to work a room.
Big Apple Idolatry
For a while, it looked like Bill Murray would be this nation’s greying Loki–the prankster god who pushes hipsters to the ground and whispers to them, “No one will ever believe you,” while pouring shots behind the bar at SXSW, crashing karaoke night and generally being a merry prankster.
But recently Tom Hanks has taken up the charge, showing up on Saturday Night Live for cameos like he was Steve Martin or something, and, in a recent infamous incident, posing for several photos with what looks to be a very drunk, passed-out man.
Now, several outlets have already confirmed that this joke was a set-up, that the drunk kid–a Redditor from West Fargo, mind you–posted the pictures along with the title, “My friend met Tom Hanks, stole his glasses and pretended to be wasted.” Still, even with the truth (allegedly) out there, isn’t it more fun to believe that if you wake up drunk somewhere, there might be evidence on your iPhone that Tom Hanks was messing with your unconscious body?
That was the question we posed to a buoyant Mr. Hanks, who was celebrating the opening night of Nora Ephron’s posthumous production of Lucky Guy at Gotham Hall last night. Still very much in his blustery reporter character, he told The Observer that there are at least “two versions” of this now-legendary tale.
The Eight-Day Week
– We know: it’s getting dark earlier, the elections are tomorrow and we’re still suffering the fallout from last week’s hurricane. (Um, not to mention the nor’easter headed our way on Wednesday. FUN!) On the other hand, here are some videos of Tom Hanks being really confused on a German sketch show called Wetten Daas!
With no parties to attend on this crisp Sunday, we’re off to spend the day indoors catching up on culture. David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross is in previews at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway, with Al Pacino in a whole new role—he made young dynamo Ricky Roma famous with his film performance, but now Read More
Tom Hanks is continuing what can only be described as an “apology tour” after blowing up ABC’s spot with a big F-bomb on Good Morning America while promoting Cloud Atlas last week. First he showed up on Saturday Night Live for two segments, and last night he appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to perform some slam poetry about Full House. No, we don’t know why, either.
Almost three hours long, a lugubrious sludge of mud soup called Cloud Atlas deserves a limp nod for pure guts, I suppose, but what I’d really like to do is burn it. Based on a genre-switching, era-hopping, style-abusing, tempo-thumping novel by David Mitchell that everyone has always labeled “unfilmable,” the labyrinthine, ridiculously bloated—$100-million, anybody?—head-scratcher of a movie is the mess that proves it.
Coming at us in sections like an exploding garbage truck, this adaptation is a single film that weaves an incomprehensible literary gumbo of unrelated stories in multiple time frames over a span of 500 years. Whew!