John Lee Hancock
A Ruby Films, Essential Media and Entertainment, BBC Films, Hopscotch Features, Walt Disney Pictures Film
Biography, Drama, Comedy
Tom Hanks as Walt Disney
Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers
Colin Farrell as Robert Goff Travers
Ruth Wilson as Margaret Goff
Paul Giamatti as Ralph
Jason Schwartzman as Richard Sherman
Bradley Whitford as Don DaGradi
When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins, he made them a promise - one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep.
In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine.
But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation.
I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a preview showing of 'Saving Mr. Banks' at the last minute so off I went with my girlfriend to the cinema to see it.
Now I have to admit that I hadn't heard a whole lot about the film itself. All I knew was that it starred Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson and to be honest, that was more than enough reason to go and see it.
I'm very glad I did because what I ended up watching was a heartfelt, moving and hilariously funny movie that tells the little known story of how Walt Disney himself procured the rights to the 'Mary Poppins' novel to create what has since become one of the most beloved movies in the Disney canon.
This sort of movie would live and die by the performances of the cast and here, that challenge is more than met. We have the double Academy Award winning Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, a grumpy and rude lady who really has no intention of selling the rights to her famous creation due to feeling that the Disney machine would chew it up and spit it out.
Then you have the also double Academy Award winning Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. While some critics may have been surprised by the casting of Hanks as the legendary Disney, I thought that he not only did the legacy of the man justice but also created a performance that you just couldn't take your eyes off of for the entire movie. His chemistry with Emma Thompson was utterly superb.
Another one of the heroes of the movie is the criminally under rated Paul Giamatti as Ralph, the man who is tasked with driving Travers around during her visit. The growing relationship between the two characters was an absolute joy to watch.
With a story as strong as this and a superb ensemble cast, I'm really hoping that this movie is remembered come awards season. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in particular are more than deserving for not only bringing the characters to life on the screen but for also staying so true to their real life personalities.
Definitely one to watch and well worth a trip to the cinema.