I’ve never had a great love for Mary Poppins. It’s certainly a film that I enjoy and it’s music, in particularly Chim Chim Cheree, is nothing short of magical but I draw the line there.
Saving Mr Banks follows author P. L. Travers as she travels to L.A to decide whether or not to sign over the rights of Mary Poppins to Walt Disney.
While there she finds herself reflecting on her own life and struggling to hand over her creation to the money printing machine that is Disney.
I very much enjoyed this film, probably more so than the actual film it’s about. It’s witty and has excellent performances all round but more than that, it’s a fascinating exploration into Travers and her creation.
It’s narrative flicks excellently between Travers as an adult and as a child, slowly revealing and explaining why Travers is the way she is and the surprisingly dark places her characters come from.
It takes an interesting look at Hollywood too, specifically the relationship between writers and film makers and the struggle that can occur between them which I really enjoyed.
As mentioned before it is also very witty, owning much to Emma Thompson’s scene stealing portrayal as Travers. She makes a somewhat un-likeable character rather endearing and plays the multitude of emotions extremely well.
Tom Hanks as Walt Disney is a match made in heaven and whereas he isn’t flexing his acting muscles to the extent he did in Captain Phillips, his performance as Disney is charismatic and a joy to watch.
I loved the supporting cast too with Paul Giamatti giving his best performance this year while Colin Farrell gives his best performance since In Bruges.
You have Jason Scwhartzman and B.J Novack as the Sherman brothers too who are great.
Saving Mr Banks is a very well written, intelligent and enjoyable film about film. Not overly sentimental and more mature than one may expect from Disney. It’s an excellent companion to the original Mary Poppins which makes it a must for fans but will still entertain people who aren’t.