Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Giamatti, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Synopsis: Author P. L. Travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with film-maker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, Mary Poppins.
I have to state right now that I have never seen Mary Poppins from start to finish. Sure I know the famous scenes, the songs, the terrible cock-er-nee accent by Dick Van Dyke etc, but I can say, with a shamed face that I’ve never seen all of it. So, with that confession out of the way (and hopefully soon to be rectified) I move on to reviewing a film about the making of it!
I had only heard great things about Saving Mr. Banks, from eminent film critics mainly, so went in with high expectations. And it didn’t disappoint me at all. I thought it was a wonderful movie, full of humour and emotion. I have no idea how accurate some of it is but as a piece of drama it was great.
The acting, as you would expect with the likes of Hanks and Thompson, was second to none. Both performances were truly great, especially Thompson. That is two films over the Christmas period where she has left me wiping away a sly tear (yes, Love Actually, I’m talking about you). As for Tom Hanks, he does a sterling job as old Walt Disney, as far as I can tell (I’ve only ever seen pictures of the great man). He certainly looks very much like him anyway.
Additionally, Paul Giamatti is good as P L Travers chauffeur, and it’s nice to see their relationship progress from acidic to real friendship. The Sherman brothers played by Jason Schwartzman and BJ Novak added some good comedy moments, and Schwartzman gets to flex his musical talents as well.
All in all, a very enjoyable drama that is surely a shoe in for an Oscar. It’s filled with highs and lows, that will leave you smiling, laughing and maybe even crying. In fact, it has even made me want to watch Mary Poppins!