I was five years old when I saw “Mary Poppins” in the theatre. My first film viewed on the big screen mesmerized me and started a love affair, or addiction, that continues to this day. Fast forward forty plus years and I couldn’t wait to see “Saving Mr. Banks” which describes the making of the “Mary Poppins” movie and the story that inspired it.
Emma Thompson stars as P.L. Travers author of the beloved children’s book who is determined to see her dear Mary brought faithfully to the screen. Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse, who is humbled by the demands of this contentious englishwoman. Travers, who won’t sign away the move rights, holds Disney over a barrel. The story unfolds in a series of flashbacks which illustrate the author’s tramatic childhood and troubled relationship to her father.
Our knowing the ending to this tale, and that the movie does indeed get made, in no ways lessens the tension and drama as it unfolds. Travers bravely faces the memories that haunt her and focus her resolve to finally save her own Mr. Banks. [rating=4]
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some unsettling images.