The Radio Times logo

Saving Mr Banks

  • Drama
  • 2013
  • John Lee Hancock
  • 120 mins
  • PG
    More info: UK: General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children

Summary

Premiere. Walt Disney becomes determined to adapt Mary Poppins into a film, but faces an obstacle in the shape of author PL Travers, who resists the idea of a sentimental Hollywood version of her book. As the movie mogul's charm offensive comes unstuck, he begins to realise why the story is so important to its creator. Fact-based drama, with Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti and Colin Farrell.

Advertisement

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

USED 08/08/2020: There's nothing Hollywood likes more than Hollywood. In this case, Disney Pictures makes a film about its founder, Uncle Walt, as played by the world's most avuncular actor, Tom Hanks. Walt engages in a gentle tug-of-principles with Australia-born, England-based writer PL Travers (Emma Thompson), the rights to whose Mary Poppins children's novels lay outside the film mogul's reach for 20 years. Sunnily cajoled into period 1960s life by director John Lee Hancock, this episode finds jolly comedy in determined Disney and principled Travers at odds over various commercial decisions (she disapproved of the use of songs and animation). Though their push-and-pull birthed a beloved classic, painful flashbacks feature Colin Farrell as Travers's alcoholic dad, and the happy, glamorous ending at Grauman's Chinese Theatre comes spoonful-of-sugar-coated. Paul Giamatti also shines as a chauffeur and Thomas Newman's score is a delight. AC USED 06/07/2018 There's nothing Hollywood likes more than Hollywood. In this case, Disney Pictures makes a film about its founder, Uncle Walt, as played by the world's most avuncular actor, Tom Hanks. Walt engages in a gentle tug-of-principles with Australian-born, England- based writer PL Travers (Emma Thompson), the rights to whose Mary Poppins children's novels lay outside the film mogul's reach for 20 years. Sunnily cajoled into period 1960s life by director John Lee Hancock, this episode finds jolly comedy in determined Disney and principled Travers at odds over various commercial decisions (she disapproved of the use of songs and animation). Though their push-and-pull birthed a beloved classic, painful flashbacks feature Colin Farrell as Travers's alcoholic dad, and the happy, glamorous ending at Grauman's Chinese Theatre comes spoonful-of-sugar-coated. The highlights: Paul Giamatti shines as a chauffeur and Thomas Newman's score is a delight. ANDREW COLLINS USED 01/05/2017 Two stories in one here. First, the saga of Walt Disney's (Tom Hanks) 20-year struggle to fulfil a promise to his daughters to make a film of Mary Poppins. And second, author PL Travers's (Emma Thompson) determination to ensure that Mr Banks, head of the family to which Poppins pops in, is properly and respectfully portrayed in the movie. Because Banks was inspired by her late, beloved and alcoholic father (Colin Farrell). She has reluctantly agreed to let the film go ahead only because she is short of cash, and with equal reluctance she goes to Hollywood at Disney's invitation to discuss the production. The story centres on the relationship between these two oddly matched characters lovable old Uncle Walt (which I'm not sure he was) and the acerbic Travers, who is totally underwhelmed by LaLa Land. Fine performances by both stars. BARRY NORMAN USED 23/12/2016 Two stories in one here. First, the saga of the 20-year struggle of Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to fulfil a promise to his daughters to make a film of Mary Poppins. And second, the determination of author PL Travers (Emma Thompson) to ensure that Mr Banks, head of the family to which Poppins pops in, is properly and respectfully portrayed in the movie. Because Banks was inspired by her late, beloved and alcoholic father (Colin Farrell). With reluctance she goes to Hollywood at Disney's invitation to discuss the production. The story centres on the relationship between these two oddly matched characters lovable old Uncle Walt (which I'm not sure he was) and the acerbic Travers, who is totally underwhelmed by LaLa Land. Fine performances by both stars. BARRY NORMAN BARRY'S LONG VERSION Two stories in one here. First, the saga of Walt Disney's (Tom Hanks) 20-year struggle to fulfil a promise to his daughters to make a film of Mary Poppins. And second, author P L Travers's (Emma Thompson) determination to ensure that Mr. Banks, head of the family to which Poppins pops in is properly and respectfully portrayed in the movie. Because Banks was inspired by her late, beloved and alcoholic father (Colin Farrell). She has reluctantly agreed to let the film go ahead only because she was short of cash and with equal reluctance she goes to Hollywood at Disney's invitation to discuss the production. The story centres on the relationship between these two oddly matched characters loveable old Uncle Walt (which I'm not sure he was) and the acerbic Travers, who is totally underwhelmed by La La Land. Fine performances by both stars.

How to Watch

Loading

On demand

Details

Theatrical distributor
Walt Disney
Released on
2013-11-29
Language
English
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PL Travers, PamelaEmma Thompson
Walt DisneyTom Hanks
Travers GoffColin Farrell (2)
RalphPaul Giamatti
Don DaGradiBradley Whitford
Richard M ShermanJason Schwartzman
Robert B ShermanB J Novak
Margaret GoffRuth Wilson
"Ginty" (young Pamela)Annie Rose Buckley
TommieKathy Baker
Aunt EllieRachel Griffiths
Diarmuid RussellRonan Vibert

Crew

rolename
DirectorJohn Lee Hancock
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content