This afternoon I watched Saving Mr Banks with my mother (Netflix). The film follows the semi-fictionalised story of PL Travers granting the rights to her Mary Poppins stories to Walt Disney.
The film stars Emma Thompson as the author PL Travers, Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Colin Farrell in a brilliant performance as Travers’ father. BJ Novak, Jason Schwartzman and Bradley Whitford add some lighter, comic relief as the Sherman brothers and Disney employee Don DaGradi respectively.
The story is told through Travers’ trip to the Disney studios to fine tune the terms of their contract interspersed with flashbacks showing the complex and troubled relationship Travers had with her parents, giving the inspiration behind her characters.
I read the Wikipedia pages on all the characters and the real life story after and whilst the basic story seems pretty true to life the film is obviously fleshed out with fiction to make it more cinematically pleasing. In particular I liked the scene where the Sherman brothers present the song ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ to Travers.
They’re as convincing as children as Dick Van Dyke is a cockney.
I think that although the film had some drama and darker moments it was probably much lighter than the true events. After all it was the culmination of 20 years of negotiations, she wasn’t going to give in that easily!
All in all I enjoyed the film. It was nice, Sunday afternoon viewing. It made me want to re-watch Mary Poppins too, which is such a lovely film. I’m just glad I didn’t go see it at the cinema as my mum cried throughout the second half of the film!! To be fair, it is very emotional.