Walt Disney receives more than he bargained for from P.L Travers when he tries to convince her to let him adapt her beloved book Mary Poppins for the big screen. Saving Mr. Banks review right here.
A promise to his daughters, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) wants to make a big screen version of Mary Poppins – a book about a magical nanny in London by author P.L. Travers. After 18 years, and the urge of her solicitor due to impending financial trouble, Travers (Emma Thompson) finally gives in, as long as she can supervise the whole project.
Travers turns out to be a thorn in the side of Disney and all involved in the making of the movie due to her ridiculous demands (the film can’t have the colour red in it due to her “going off the colour”) and over-bearing stubbornness. Not one to give up on a promise, Disney tries his hardest to accommodate her on every gripe.
In what could have easily been just a film about an uptight Englishwoman and a successful American in the 1960s, Saving Mr. Banks manages to avoid as much due to a brilliant script and some towering performances by both the lead stars. Thompson manages to pull off Travers being such a difficult woman with a hidden layer of hurt brilliantly, whilst Hanks is charming throughout but, like Thompson’s Travers, there is much more below the surface of his wide smiles.
The film itself changes settings from the present, to the early 1900s when Travers was a young girl growing up in Australia. In doing so, we get to see where the story of Mary Poppins originated and her difficult relationship in the one man she loved more than any other – her father (Colin Farrell)
The makers of Saving Mr. Banks do excellently with the overall look of the film and the perfectly capture the story of when two brilliant minds come together to make a motion picture, one that went on to become a classic piece of cinema loved by adults and children alike.
Hanks could find himself nominated twice this year for Saving Mr. Banks and Captain Phillips, while you can expect a nomination for Ms. Thompson and the movie itself.
Saving Mr. Banks is, much like Disney World itself, magical. Hanks and Thompson work wonderfully together and the tale of Disney and Travers is one we can watch again and again.