In Episode 29 of Beyond the Berm, we discussed recent movies, including Saving Mr. Banks. And although we didn’t mention it in the podcast this time around, I had the feeling all along that Disney had positioned this release to receive maximum notice for Academy Awards nominations. And in fact the whole publicity campaign definitely had the feel of an awards-worthy movie.
When the Golden Globe nominations were announced, Emma Thompson received a best actress nomination for her portrayal of P.L. Travers, but noticeably absent was a nomination for Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. As we mentioned in the podcast, it really was difficult at times to see Hanks as Disney, given our familiarity with both figures, although it was much easier to see Thompson as Travers.
Still, I would imagine that some at Disney were somewhat disappointed that neither was nominated for an Academy Award when the nominations were announced yesterday. I really was not all that surprised. It was a good movie, but to me it wasn’t the big Oscar winning kind of movie. Which is fine for me, because I don’t usually “get” those movies that win all the awards. They just aren’t my thing, I guess.
However, Saving Mr. Banks did get one nomination, and that was for best original score for Thomas Newman’s music. I definitely did think this nomination was well deserved. I have been a fan of Newman’s work ever since his score for Finding Nemo, and I enjoyed his Wall-E score as well. And I have CDs of some of his other scores as well, including Road to Perdition, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Horse Whisperer.
I remember that Andrew Stanton, the director of Finding Nemo, described Newman’s music as “bittersweet,” saying that it had just the right quality that he was looking for in his movie. And when I saw that Thomas Newman was going to score Saving Mr. Banks, I knew exactly what sort of movie it would be. And the music greatly helped to set that tone that they were wanting.
Of course, Thomas Newman does branch out from time to time. I was looking at buying the digital download of the Saving Mr. Banks score, but instead I decided to get the score to the most recent James Bond movie, Skyfall, also scored by Newman. Pretty cool stuff, and while it matches well with the spy-movie genre, it still has that distinctive Thomas Newman sound to it. I like it. But I will still go back and get the Saving Mr. Banks score sooner or later, too.
So congratulations to Thomas Newman for his nomination. While he has won other awards, he has been nominated for several Academy Awards but has never won. Maybe this time will be his chance.