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on 19 April 2014
This is a lovely film, crass, brash Americana meets post-colonial stiff-upper-lippiness! Tom Hanks does a great job of playing a kindly Uncle Disney version of the eponymous Walt, all paternalism and Apple Pie but Emma Thompson is the total show-steeler with her rendition of the psychologically damaged, ice-maiden that's PL Travers.

Through flash-backs PL Travers early life traumas are spilt for us delicately, stitching together a picture that sees the slow destruction of the deified figure of her father into the alcoholic shadow he became. We see him fail, repeatedly, we see these events impact on her mother all the while in the present of our story, 1960s America, we see Walt Disney and writers of the motion picture screenplay for Mary Poppins trying to melt PL Travers icy heart. She needs to sign the rights over so the movie can be made and she is extremely sniffy about some of the frivolous directions they seem to have taken her character.

This is a quality movie, gentle, thought-provoking and effectively braiding its stories set in different timelines neatly and completely in a way that was very satisfying. We all know that PL Travers relented and Mary Poppins got the Disney treatment and in one of the most touching moments in the film we see Emma Thompson's character crying buckets as the bank manager dad returns at the end to sing and dance enthusiastically ready for kite-flying. The epitomy of fatherliness and good times absent from her own upbringing and the antithesis of her own dad's ignominious ending. Of course, truth and biography have been tweaked here to make a more complete story I'm sure, but it has been done in such a loving and respectful way that both Disney and PL Travers emerge as sympathetic figures.

Well worth a couple of hours of your time.

**** (Four stars)
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on 31 August 2014
This really was a stunning performanceby Emma Thompson as PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, who tries to be persuaded by Walt Disney (a convincing Tom Hanks) to sign the film rights of her book to him so that the musical may be made. As an opponent of musicals, Dick Van Dyke and in particular animation, this requires a lot of effort. Disney is using every trick he can muster in order to get that signature.

The film reminds me of 'Titanic' in that we know the ending, but enjoy the performances as we go towards it. The sequences of Travers' early life in Australia were somewhat of an intrusion, but necessary when Disney uses this to remind Travers of her father. Colin Farrell is not my favourite actor, but was passable in this.

Hanks' portrayal of Disney made him come across as a rather unscrupulous character. Was there any truth in what Disney said? He could have been saying anything in order to get that signature. I found myself very much on Travers' side, wanting her not to sign, although we knew the inevitable.

'Saving Mr Banks' is a movie well worth seeing for the performances of the two leads. I think it might have been even better had it not been made by the Disney studios, and instead a neutral one. It is well known that PL Travers despised the finished production of 'Mary Poppins' and continued this view right until her death. The movie glossed over this; this was a major mistake and gave the impression that it was a fictional story loosely based on real events.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 24 March 2014
Two of the names that get my attention, the magic of childhood movie-making
'Walt Disney' and one of todays finest actors 'Tom Hanks'
The film is the true story of how the film 'Mary Poppins' came about.
The author 'P.L.Travers' (Emma Thompson) is down on her uppers, she's almost
broke, she's not written a book for some time, the royalties are no longer paying
for her life-style.
'Walt Disney' (Tom Hanks) wants to adapt her book 'Mary Poppins' into a movie,
to do so he has to have her permission to go ahead.
She takes a flight to L.A to reluctantly discuss his proposals, on arrival her hotel
room is stacked out with Disney Characters (toys and puppets).with the courtesy
of 'Walt'.............She is not amused.
'Walt' has pursued his dream to turn the book into a film for twenty years having
promised his then young daughter he would do so.
'Pamela' has agreed to listen to the proposals 'Walt' and his team have though
she is in no mood to make compromises, and will not be easily impressed.
Every thing suggested early on is rejected out of hand by 'Pamela' she even has
a thing about the colour 'red' and will not discuss any form of animation.
'Walt' and his team become frustrated as every idea is knocked back, the situation
looks seemingly impossible, but 'Walt' isn't about to give up, he wants her signature
on the contract.
'Pamela' apparently like 'Walt' have ghosts from the past, she often reflects on events
that shaped her life during childhood, yet, it had inspired her in the writing of the book
'Mary Poppins'
'Walt' has to find a way to understand the lady to achieve his ambition with her blessing
to go ahead and create the story they both want.
There are many amusing confrontations between 'Walt' and his team with 'Pamela'
The film, sometimes very funny, often touching and deeply moving, a tale that will
almost certainly draw you in whether you like the film 'Mary Poppins' or not, the film
which is 'the making of 'Mary Poppins' is quite simply ....a must see.
A DELIGHTFUL FILM.
Great performances throughout with superb picture and sound quality.
Special Features:
* Deleted Scenes - 'Stargaze' - 'Nanny Song' - 'Pam leaves'
* Behind the scenes - 'The Disney studios-from 'Mary Poppins' to present.
* Behind the scenes: - Let's Go Fly a Kite.
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on 1 May 2014
I bought this for my (elderly) Mum for her birthday as I thought she would really love the subject matter (having loved Mary Poppins although I can't remember the film very well and maybe need to see it again) and as it stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. The story is fantastic - this cankerous, interfering (slightly stupid) woman who is unable to see the merits of the efforts of those who trying to make a film of her book. This brings her right into contact with Walt Disney, played by Tom Hanks as a kindly man with a very warm heart. She also meets the composers who struggle to impress her with their wonderful tunes and ideas. It is hard not to want to shake the woman for her rudeness and her lack of any understanding - and her extreme coldness. But her relationship with her driver and her flashbacks to her childhood (her father played by the delicious Colin Farrell) show a tender side to the character which redeemed her somewhat although really I still wanted to slap her for most of the time. It's slow and seems to need 'something' else - a little more Tom Hanks? More of the 'warmed up' Emma Thompson (so superb when she 'gets' the song about kite flying, 'Let's Go Fly A Kite')? Or a greater hold on the scene where she finally gets to see the finished film ...?/ Her scenes with Disney/Tom Hanks are sheer joy (especially when he takes her to Disney Land at the scene where he finally persuades her to sign the contract) and somehow we don't get enough of them - or maybe they are greater for being lesser?

This is very much a character led film rather than story led which is what I prefer although it has to try far harder when it relies on simply on great acting.

For those who hung around until the titles (I do hate it when people leave cinemas when the titles are running) - would be rewarded by hearing the genuine tapes of the conversations recorded at the start and can hear just how annoyingly pedantic she was. I gather there is one living author who created a similar type 'control' when her books where filmed but it is just rumour and I can't say who it was!

We'd just watched 'Quartet' the week before and loved it so much that this film fell by one mark. Good, very good, but not great.
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on 26 December 2017
My elderly mum and I enjoyed this film. We are UK residents who lived in the US when I was young. My parents took me both to Disneyland when I was growing up. So I particularly liked the Mr Hanks' clever portrayal of Walt and the abundant props in the backdrop of many of the office shots and mannerisms, cough, concealed smoking etc. that told a great deal of the Disney story. The attention to detail also gave a real depth to the relationship between Walt and that of the resistant P.L. Travers played by the equally gifted Emma Thompson.

The film was rightly successful and won a number of awards making a great deal of money. However, i still think as a film it is slightly underrated.
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on 10 October 2016
This is a really lovely movie about how Disney got Mary Poppins onto the big screen and about the woman who wrote it. Tom Hanks plays the fun loving, affable Walt Disney. He wasn't all sugar and spice, but this film doesn't paint him to be - he was after all a business man. But it does show his determination to create the perfect version of this movie that he could (but then let's not forget it is a Disney move!!! so he's hardly going to be portrayed as a villain). Emma Thompson plays the much less likable PL Travers who wrote Mary Poppins. I'm sure very few people even realised Mary Poppins was a book before this movie, let alone who wrote it, Thompson's Travers comes across as hard, and unlikable. Overall a really enjoyable sunday afternoon type of movie
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on 14 February 2018
Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks play off each other well. You're in capable hands with these two. The story is of Walt Disney trying to adapt the Mary Poppins book into a film. The author P.L. Traves, doesn't particularly want her book turned into a film and causes Disney some difficulty. While the films flip flops between her own childhood and the current day, it provides some back story on why she feels the way she does. The songs in the film are familiar, and you can't help but sing along in your head.
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on 3 August 2016
I first watched Mary Poppins when released in the 1960s, it's one of those films contains tunes that once heard never leave your brain no matter what age you are and you find yourself singing and remembering the words years later. Well Saving Mr Banks is the story behind the Author. It also is a mesmerising film with invites into the Authors childhood and her meeting eventually with the great Walt Disney. It follows the long journey to turn the books into the Mary Poppins film and how the Author Pamela Travis took control of every detail concerning the script. It's a funny, sad really making film. I think I have watched it 6 times up to now and each time I can't help but sing.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 April 2014
I wasn't quite sure what to expect of 'Saving Mr Banks' but by the end my husband and I were both entranced and wanting to watch Mary Poppins!

Superb acting from Hanks and Thompson (as well as the minor characters of Ralph the driver and the Sherman brothers) in an affecting true story.

Fascinating stuff this - we see the writer of Mary Poppins using every reason possible not to allow Walt Disney to make a film of her beloved book. And eventually, the history of her childhood tha explains her and her reluctance. Colin Farrell commands a wonderful English accent to portray her beloved but flawed father in her Australian childhood years.

I cried more than once and tapped my toes to the Sherman brothers wonderful songs.

Fantastic evening's viewing and very interesting film/literature history. Stay for the end credit tapes of the real Travis meeting with the Disney team to hear and see the real people.
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on 15 December 2014
I purchased this DVD to add to my basket to obtain free delivery. I did note when it was in the cinema I would have been interested in seeing it but life being as busy as it is I never got the opportunity. I sat yesterday, on a cold rainy day & put on the DVD. What a wonderful movie. I was engaged & enthralled from beginning to the end. A nice story for a winters day.It evoked happiness, sadness, laughter & was a lovely smooth movie with a story which had a beginning, middle & end. I am unsure of the accuracy of the story told but having enjoyed Mary Poppins as a child Saving Mr Banks was a lovely back story. I felt it was very well acted, I was amused by Mr Disney & his vision of Disneyland - if his views depicted in this movie were accurate he must not be too impressed with the modern day Disneyland! I have visited all three - so in my opinion not the value & view of Mr Disney depicted in Saving Mr Banks.
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