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Saving Mr Banks
BUY TICKETS 5pm Sunday 26 January *Subtitled for the hard of hearing
DIRECTOR John Lee Hancock
CAST Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell
For PL Travers, author of the original Mary Poppins, trusting her beloved creation even to the great Walt Disney was unthinkable, and he little realised that it would take him 20 years to persuade her to agree. Emma Thompson’s heroically stubborn Travers is pitched to perfection against the warmth of Tom Hanks’ portrayal of Disney. Smart and witty entertainment.
(2013 USA / UK / Australia 125 minutes)
BBFC advice: Contains scenes of emotional upset
Detailed advice from the BBFC (click on BBFC insight)
AUDIO DESCRIPTION AVAILABLE – Please contact the cinema in advance firstname.lastname@example.org
When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favourite book, PL Travers’ Mary Poppins, he didn’t realise it would take him 20 years as 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. The film covers two weeks in 1961 when Travers reluctantly agreed to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation. The extraordinary, untold story of how Disney’s classic film made it to the screen, and the testy relationship between film maker and author that almost derailed it.
At face value, this is the story of a highly introverted and controlling woman, haunted by childhood tragedies, who is finally won over and loosened up by the irresistible appeal of Disney’s creative team and the mogul’s own good offices. But thanks to its two stars, a wealth of nuance and subtlety makes this a richer story than it first appears…
The story is strongest not in showing Travers’ genesis but the film genesis of her great creation. Travers was right to resist the addition of too much Disney magic, and that it retains an edge of real feeling is down chiefly to her efforts, in particular as regards Mr. Banks. But Disney was right to put it on screen, and right about the animated penguins. Sometimes a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down. This is not a simple story of an uptight English woman induced to loosen up by those freedom-lovin’ Yanks, but a delicate and brilliantly acted story of overcoming the past to embrace an uncertain future. Emma Thompson, in particular, is magic. Helen O’Hara, Empire
UK RELEASE 29 November 2013
RUNNING TIME 125 minutes
COUNTRY USA / UK / Australia