Friday, January 17, 2014

Travers versus Disney

Watched Saving Mr Banks this evening , the story of how PL Travers, the woman who wrote the Mary Poppins books, finally - after 20 years - agreed to give Walt Disney the rights to make a film version. (There she is on the right with Walt and Julie Andrews). 
It's actually two films: the story of her fortnight with the scriptwriters in Hollywood in April 1961, and the story of her unhappy childhood in pre-WW1 outback Australia, told in endless flashbacks.
Emma Thompson does a good job on the exasperating, incessantly negative Travers ("No music, no animation, and no colour red") and Tom Hanks is splendid as the smiling, incessantly positive WD ( "You. Cannot. Imagine. How. Delighted. I am. To finally meet you"). Of course, we all know who won out. 
And what about the title? They could have called the film something more obvious like Making Poppins, but instead they chose the rather more buried storyline of the emotionally-removed banker dad (played by David Tomlinson) who was sort of modelled on Travers's own banking father. Anyway, decent enough film.

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