EXCLUSIVE REVIEW: Saving Mr. Banks

Now I don’t care what people say – whether it’s the songs, the cast, the made-up words or even the adorable fox and the dancing penguins – everybody likes something in the incredible family film Mary Poppins. And thankfully, instead of trying to make a sequel – everyone knows it wouldn’t have worked –  Walt Disney Pictures made a film about how Walt Disney himself managed to get Mrs P.L. Travers, the author of the book Mary Poppins, to give the rights to make a film; this film was made in order to celebrate 50 years since the film was made. What’s incredible is that before the film starts with P.L. Travers going to L.A. to see Disney is that Walt tried Travers to give him the rights for the film for 20 years – before they ever met. Anyway, reveals how Walt Disney, the Sherman brothers (the song-writers) and the scrip- sorry ‘co’ script writer managed to persuade in Travers in allowing the film the green light. I must say, don’t expect that because it’s a behind-the-scenes film that you will see what the cast of Mary Poppins (e.g. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke) were like behind the film – it is nothing to do with them. Well, there are few lines that are funny about how much Travers protests that Dyke plays Bert. 

The film also, whilst watching Travers in L.A., looks at her childhood and what her family was like when she lived in Australia – Colin Farrell plays her father.The film manages to flow very well and don’t ever get bored and uninterested in it. The comedy – by it relationship between the characters or funny references to the film Mary Poppins – supports the film to keep it attractable to all ages. In the cinema there was a variety of ages in there and all of them were laughing and enjoying the film. The script is pure. There’s nothing trying to make it stand out, it holds the truth, comedy and emotion. The cast are amazing. Emma Thompson manages to play a very strict woman who believes everything should be her way and then eventually emotions get the best of Travers and Thompson is able to really show how moving the film is.

I will say this, some of the actors’ Australian accents in the Travers’ childhood scene needed working on. Paul Giamatti is also great in the film as the nice Limo driver and according to Travers her ‘only true American friend’. But I guess the actor who really steals the show is Tom Hanks. No has really played as Walt Disney himself. According to an article on the website The Flickcast – All Things Geek, during their Saturday panel, “Working with Walt,” renowned Walt Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr  began to tear up while speaking about the film. As the web article reads on, “He, and the fellow Disney legends that joined him on stage, were touched by how director John Lee Hancock  and screenplay writer Kelly Marcel brought Walt to life again. Little quirks, like Disney clearing his throat to let you know that he was about to enter a room, have added a level of authenticity often lost in films like this.” And I have to agree Hanks manages to pick up the true essence of Disney and what he was like behind the Hollywood presence. It would be nice it Hanks got an Oscar for the role but will he? Well, he does play Walt Disney and it is Tom Hanks.

Quite a few of the scenes are when Travers is in the rehearsal room and is going through the script with Sherman brother and the screen writer – plus the assistant from time to time. And straight away Travers complains about something and demands it should be changed. When you watch the film you wonder, was P.L. Travers actually like that in real life when they went through the script? Well, in the film it shows that Travers wanted every meeting recording – to prove what had actually happened in Walt went behind her back. And I urge you to stay and watch the credits because after the main credits (director and cast), the film then plays, as the credits keep going, an actual recording or package even of when Travers had meetings with the Sherman brothers and the screen-writer and told them what should be changed. Travers was very opinionated like in the film.

Overall, the film highlights what the process was like before the Mary Poppins was released and what Travers’ childhood was like in Australia. It is very interesting, funny and emotional. A great film to explain how they managed to make one of the greatest Disney films ever.

Saving Mr. Banks: 7.4/10

Highlight of the Day: Watching the film and seeing that my idea for one of my modules was approved by the class and the lecturer. Plus the fact that I was able to have a day away from my house after spending a whole weekend in there.

Lowlight of the Day: Knowing I still have work to do. But everyone does and that’s life. Woooo!!

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