When Walter Elias Disney's (Tom Hanks') daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' (Dame Emma Thompson's) "Mary Poppins", he made them a promise - one that he didn't realize would take twenty years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles, California to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all of the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Richard M. Sherman (Jason Schwartzman) and Robert B. Sherman (B.J. Novak), Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn't budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights ...Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
In 2011, Kelly Marcel's screenplay was listed on movie executive Franklin Leonard's Blacklist, voted by movie producers as one of the best unsold, unproduced screenplays circulating in Hollywood. In early 2012, Walt Disney Pictures acquired the screen rights to Marcel's script. Alan Horn, newly-appointed Chairman of Walt Disney Pictures, referred to this movie as "brand deposit". See more »
The other drivers at the airport hold signs bearing logos of Warner Brothers and MGM adopted sometime after 1961. See more »
Winds in the east / Mist coming in / Like something is brewing / About to begin / Can't put me finger / On what lies in store / But I feel what's to happen / All happened before.
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i attended a pre-screening of "Saving Mr. Banks" last night in Dallas. while i had been looking forward to the film, i had my reservations. after all, Johnny Hancock (director) was behind "The Blind Side," which i found much too schmaltzy and watered-down for my taste. also, this was a movie about Walt Disney being produced by his company - so how honest would it be about the story behind the making of the masterpiece "Mary Poppins"? would it settle for predictable mellow-drama (yes, i meant to spell it that way) and glorify dear Uncle Walt as perfect and demonize Mrs. Travers as a cold, soulless spoilsport? thankfully, the answer to that is a resounding "no."
while it surely takes artistic license with history, the film as a whole is surprisingly great. there's not a weak moment throughout, not a second where i wasn't entertained and wanting to find out what would come next. this film (rated PG-13) surprises with many of the thematic issues it tackles, including alcoholism, loss - and we even get a brief glimpse of a smoking Mr. Disney (hey, it was the 60s).
Emma Thompson has always been a strong performer though her screen time has waned over the last decade and a half, but here she gives a performance that is worthy of awards attention. As Mrs. P.L. Travers, she is an author as protective as her life's work as a mother is for a child and is dealing with demons nearly forgotten. Mr. Hanks too carries his own playing the iconic and visionary Disney at the top of his game, trying to honor a promise to his daughters while also add to his impressive repertoire of cinematic achievements.
this is not really a film to take your Poppins-loving tykes to. this is the Disney film for mom and dad to enjoy. "Saving Mr. Banks" will probably be remembered as one of the best films of 2013, and for good reason.
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