Saving Mr. Banks is a lovely film. A jolly holiday, you might say. If you haven't heard the buzz on this film, it concerns the back story of how Walt Disney took years (well, decades actually) to convince P.L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins books to let Disney have the rights to make the Mary Poppins film.
Tom Hanks looks like he is having a wonderful time portraying the larger than life Walt Disney. Emma Thompson seems to be channeling every old crusty aunt she ever encountered as a child to bring the difficult and very odd authoress to the screen. Again, she appears to be having a ball.
Colin Farrell plays the lovable but unreliable father of Mrs. Travers in the flashback scenes of her childhood in Australia. Apparently after her father died, young Helen Lyndon Goff reinvented herself as Pamela Lyndon Travers and traveled to England to write after a failed stage career in Australia. The Disney version of the story is quite whitewashed, although you might not think so while watching the film. Travers was apparently a bisexual single mother who adopted only one of a set of twins after consulting with an astrologer about which boy to choose.
And if you think Emma Thompson is portraying Travers in a harsh light, stay behind in the theatre for the end of the credits, where they play some of the audio tapes of the meetings between the author and the film makers. She was a real piece of work!
Thankfully, the Mary Poppins film that we know and love so well was made by Walt Disney as it is perfection in my estimation. Well, perhaps it is a tad too long, which is also the case with Saving Mr. Banks but they are equally wonderful. You will enjoy this film, especially if like me, you have a soft spot for Mary Poppins and the Banks family.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
P.S. I adore the way the title of the film is gradually revealed as the story unfolds. She certainly isn't there to save the children!