|Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) implores|
P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to let him film Mary Poppins.
Call Saving Mr. Banks muddled, then. Deliberately and unapologetically so. Yes, this makes for a less than perfect movie, but Banks approaches its subject matter with such heart-on-its-sleeve earnestness, only the most hardened cynics will fail to get caught up in its spell.
Purporting to tell the tale of how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) cajoled the prickly author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), into signing over the film rights of her popular children's book to him, Saving Mr. Banks jettisons much of what really happened--Walt never escorted Mrs. Travers through Disneyland; in fact, he left town during her visit--in favor of depicting a highly fictionalized battle of wills between two creative forces of nature. You can decide for yourself if this fast and loose handling of the facts is a deal-breaker or not. I chose to not let it be.
|Mrs. Travers meets The Boys, (l. to r.) B.J. Novak,|
Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford and Emma Thompson.
|Young Ginty (Annie Buckley) and her father,|
Travers Goff (Colin Farrell).
|The Happiest Place on Earth? Walt (Tom Hanks) escorts|
Mrs. Travers (Emma Thompson) to Disneyland.
There are those who will carp about Saving Mr. Banks lack of historical accuracy. To them I say it's a movie, not a documentary. Meet it on its own terms and you will find magic there, a celebration of the creative process and the determined people who intend to see their stories told their way.
Related: 'Saving Mr. Banks,' 'Mary Poppins' and 'Thor' in 'The Mouse Castle Lounge'
'Saving Mr. Banks' and Saving Walt Disney's Birthplace in the MCL