“Saving Mr. Banks” is a lighthearted film about Disney trying to secure the legal rights from author P.L. Travers to make the “Mary Poppins” film.
For fans of the classic, a lot of the film explores the origins of the character Mary Poppins by using flashbacks to the P.L. Travers past. I found these to be the most entertaining sequences, with a particularly entertaining performance from Colin Farrell playing Travers’ father. Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers does her best to make the character feel cold and unlikable, which makes the emotional peaks of the film more dramatic. It’s also hard not to smile seeing Tom Hanks play Walt Disney. There are also some recognizable and enjoyable supporting cast like Bradley Whitford and Paul Giamatti.
There aren’t a lot of laughs to be had because of the biographical nature of the film, but the cheerful tone makes up for that. Certainly a large portion of the events are true, but its hard to believe certain things weren’t embellished to make a fairly mundane story more appealing to the screen, yet none of that embellishment seems far fetched or over the top.
There isn’t a whole lot to dislike in “Saving Mr. Banks”. It’s a touching story that has some fine moments. However, there isn’t much to make the film stand out either. It is enjoyable, but there’s no drive or twist to make the story particularly compelling or outstanding.
Cute for the family though.