Review of 'Saving Mr. Banks'

saving_mr_banks.jpg “Saving Mr. Banks” follows the story of Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) attempting to secure the rights to film “Mary Poppins” from it's rather difficult author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson). The British Travers is taken aback by the brash, bold American Disney though eventually she agrees to the film but insists on editorial control that causes no ends of problems for Disney from the very beginning when she talks about no animation and no songs (she also did not approve of the casting). Disney realizes Travers will not be easily convinced so goes on a campaign to do just that including a personalized tour of Disneyland. He comes to understand what the story is about (Mary Poppins, does not, of course, come to save the children, she comes to save Mr Banks) and she comes to understand what Disney is about, unearthing painful memories of her childhood.

An amazing performance by both Hanks and Thompson that really evoke the powerful characters of Disney and Travers. It is amazing to watch these two very different people trying, and forced, to understand each other to achieve their goals. The look of the film evokes the time period very well at the height of the Disney empire of California in the early 1960s. There is no doubt this film is about the two characters with every frame of the film focusing on one or both evoking very much both on the strength of their characters but also, touchingly, their deep humanity. Both are forced to open up before their conflict can be resolved.

The story of “Saving Mr. Banks” is utterly convincing with the general veracity proven by the actual audio tapes between (the real) Disney filmmakers and Travers played over the credits at the end of the film. These were real people and while this film no doubt exaggerates the story it really sheds a great deal of insight on an iconic film and a difficult author devoted to her precious Mary Poppins.

A touching and moving film of the drama behind the classic Mary Poppins film. No doubt you will leave with a bit of a tear in your eye…

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2019-02-23

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Year: 2013

Length: 125 minutes

Genre: Melodrama