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DVD Review


Saving Mr Banks

THIS is one of those rare movies nowadays – one primarily about human relationships, letting characters grow and breath.

Based loosely on Walt Disney's battle to get the rights to make a movie of Mary Poppins, it's perfectly cast, with tremendous performances all round.

Only Emma Thompson could play PL Travers, author of the Poppins series.

Resolutely British, she's Victorian in manner and not suffering fools gladly, but flashbacks to a little girl in the Outback show us she's not what she seems.

Her dad is a roguish Irishman (Colin Farrell, in a fine role) who's got a problem with the drink.

Flash forward to the early 1960s and Travers needs to make money – but selling Mary to Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) feels like selling her soul to the devil.

A clash of cultures follows as Travers journeys to LA, and tramples over the sweetness and light Disney culture employees.

Little of the first half involves Travers interacting with Disney – her frostiness begins to melt as she bonds with her assigned driver, played by Paul Giamatti.


Her ire is reserved for screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford) and composers Richard and Robert Sherman (Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak) who want to turn Mary into a musical and animate scenes.

The ending is a bit sweet as Walt gets Travers to confront her demons and lets Mary live on the screen.

A heartwarming movie that's a slow burner, but worth it.

Dvd extras: 'Making Of' special, focus on the music and three deleted scenes.

>Mark Evans