UK | Australia | USA
Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B. J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Kathy Baker, Melanie Paxson, Rachel Griffiths, Ronan Vibert, Kristopher Kyer, Victoria Summer
After 20 years, when she's financially strapped, author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) finally considers Walt Disney's (Tom Hanks) offer to make a film of her book, Mary Poppins, but won't approve unless Disney does it as she wants. So she goes to California, and while working on bringing the character of Mary Poppins to life, she starts reflecting on her childhood, upon which the book is based.
Although this film has been on my watch-list for a while, I was reluctant because of some negative reviews I've heard and read. People complaining about Walt Disney being nothing like the man portrayed by Tom Hanks, others complaining about this being not a biopic worthy of such a man. Well, I'm not sure those people have quite understood what the film is really about.
Saving Mr. Banks actually tells the story of the making of the Mary Poppins film, and if it has to be considered a biography, it is surely not Walt Disney's but P.L. Travers's. Now, the fact that the story is more or less accurate, and that maybe there is a spoonful of sugar too much to make the film suitable for families is another thing.
Having said that, Saving Mr. Banks is a feel-good dramatic comedy, both witty and sentimental, that draws you in.
The film praises imagination and its power to help some grow, by lighting up childhood and its natural path towards adulthood. It also praises those people that, even though they have grown, are still capable of dreaming, like P.L. Travers or Walt Disney.
There are some outstanding performances too. Emma Thompson play P.L. Travers beautifully. Cold and definitely not likable in the first part (as required), she brings out all the emotions, and the serious aspects of her character. Tom Hanks does a nice job as Walt Disney and seems to be enjoying himself but this is not one of his best achievements. The supporting cast offers strong performances, especially Colin Farrell, who brings vitality and interest in the parallel story about Travers's childhood.
Don’t you ever stop dreaming. You can be anyone you want to be. - Travers Goff