Saving Mr. Banks

WHERE HER BOOK ENDED, THEIR STORY BEGAN.

savingmrbanksIn the early 1960s, P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of “Mary Poppins”, finally gives in to Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) relentless requests to make a movie out of her book and travels to Los Angeles, fully intent to give the tycoon a hard time… The fact that this film was produced by Disney has its pros and cons. Don’t expect a complex portrait of Walt the man, but on the other hand credibility lies in many other details and portraits of the studio and its work at the time. The script also tells us the story of Travers’s upbringing in Australia, helping us understand her better. A little too neatly plotted at times, but very entertaining, with a first-rate cast.

2013-U.S.-Britain. 125 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer. Directed by John Lee Hancock. Screenplay: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith. Music: Thomas Newman. Cast: Emma Thompson (P.L. Travers), Tom Hanks (Walt Disney), Colin Farrell (Travers Goff), Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford… Jason Schwartzman, Rachel Griffiths.

Last word: “You wouldn’t know why [Travers] was being so vigilant about her work without knowing her past. It would be a one-note, fun movie without the other part and not nearly as interesting. It is good to know that the sadness in ‘Mary Poppins’ came from that little girl and her broken family. At that age, she wanted someone to come in and fix it. Aunt Ellie couldn’t do that. As a creative person, you turn around and invent Mary Poppins, who could do that. She knew if Disney made the movie all this would be dredged up again for her.” (Hancock, RogerEbert.com)

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