Saving Mr Banks tells the story of Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and his attempt to bring the Mary Poppins film to the screen in the early 1960s. The other lead is Pamela Travers (or Mrs Travers, as she insists on being called), the author of the Mary Poppins books, portrayed remarkably by Emma Thompson. Remarkable indeed- for whenever has her acting work disappointed? She bring a raw emotional core and her expert comical delivery to this unique movie.
|Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in Saving Mr Banks.|
Saving Mr Banks is a bit similar to the 2006 film The Queen starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II. The similarity I am fascinated by is the fact that these movies are almost biopics, but not quite. The Queen tells the story of Queen Elizabeth while she is dealing with the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death in 1997. So it is a film about a certain part of her life. Saving Mr Banks is the first “almost biopic” of Walt Disney, however we do not see much of his life - we see photos of his kids and much of the outcomes of his company’s success.But what we see is his interactions with Mrs Travers. This film is much closer to a biopic on Mrs Travers - the film alternates between 1961 L.A. and 1906 rural Australia, where the writer grew up.
|Colin Farrell and Annie Rose Buckley in Saving Mr Banks.|
This movie was quite emotional for me. Not the Walt Disney stuff, I enjoyed that and I loved all the little references to Disney culture and characters. The story in Australia depicting Pamela’s father and his descent into irresponsible alcoholism brought me to tears - thinking about times I have failed my parents. And thinking about the uncertainty of life at the moment. I spent a few minutes during the second act of this movie in tears. This was something quite cathartic for me. It was painful and healing at the same time.
So after a quite different review for me, I will make the statement that the people at Walt Disney have not lost the art of producing well-written stories that touch the heart of people all around the world. During Saving Mr Banks I laughed, cried, felt deeply and reflected upon my own life. This is what the art of film is meant to do.