wed 21/02/2024

LFF 2013: Saving Mr Banks | reviews, news & interviews

LFF 2013: Saving Mr Banks

LFF 2013: Saving Mr Banks

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson close this year's LFF as Disney and the mother of Mary Poppins

Tom Hanks waves as Walt Disney next to Emma Thompson as P L Travers, author of 'Mary Poppins'

It's dueling stars when Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson go quite delightfully toe-to-toe as Walt Disney vs P L Travers, author of Mary Poppins, in Saving Mr Banks, the closing film of the London Film Festival 2013. The title suggests the Russian doll-like nature of the story – a story within a story wrapped in an enigma, with seriously fabulous hair and make-up turning both Hanks and Thompson into characters you can almost completely believe in.

Travers is a total pain who would rather starve to death in her rather nice London pad than go to Hollywood where someone (Disney no less) wants to film her precious book and has wanted to do so for 20 years. Thompson finds and portrays the soul of such a beast. Meanwhile, Hanks has to go almost the other way by showing the sweet, happy Disney as a human who may occasionally enjoy a whisky. He’s a wily cuss, and when Travers shows up at the studios she’s given the royal treatment: great songwriters, her own car and anything her heart desires.

The performances in Saving Mr Banks are notable: naturally the leads are good, but the supporting actors almost out-leg them: the team of B J Novak and Jason Schwartzman who shine as the songwriting Sherman brothers, Giamatti as Travers’ diligent driver and Ruth Wilson as Margaret Goff. Colin Farrell appears as Travers' father. The story by Kelly Marcel (of 50 Shades the Movie) and Sue Smith is beautifully constructed. Saving Mr Banks is a surprise: apparent schmaltz with a core of molten emotion. Bring an embroidered hanky. You’ll need it.

Overleaf: Watch the trailer to Saving Mr Banks

Bring an embroidered hanky. You’ll need it


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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