Google+

Period Piece Recounts Disney Effort to Secure Rights to Mary Poppins

 

Saving Mr. Banks

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) was the pen name of Helen Lyndon Goff (1899-1996), the creator of the children’s classic “Mary Poppins.” When his daughters were young, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) promised to turn their favorite book into a movie, since they were so enchanted by the British nanny with magical powers.

Little did he know that the effort to secure the film rights would drag on for a couple of decades due to the uncompromising mr banks 2author’s inflexibility, as she insisted that any adaptation remain faithful to the source material. The protracted courting process finally proved fruitful in 1961, when Walt wined and dined the reluctant writer at his Hollywood studio while making an elaborate sales pitch to turn the story into a musical.

He would succeed in wooing Travers with the assistance of his screenwriter (Bradley Whitford) and songwriting team (B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman), although the deferential chauffeur (Paul Giamatti) assigned to drive her around during her stay would also play a pivotal role.

That productive two-week visit is revisited by Saving Mr. Brooks, a dramatization directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side). The picture’s title is a reference to Mary Poppins’ employer George Banks, who was among the many characters Travers was trying to protect.

Credit consummate thespians Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson for approaching their lead roles in such convincing fashion that a mr bansperiod piece about a contract negotiation actually proves entertaining. Hanks pours on the folksy charm impersonating the legendary Disney opposite the chameleon-like Thompson who takes her sweet time as the steely Travers to soften from skeptical to enthusiastic about the proposed project.

While Saving Mr. Banks certainly waxes sentimental and ends on an upbeat note, a Mary Poppins sequel was not to be, despite the fact that the original won five Academy Awards. For, Travers and Disney had such a big falling out prior to the picture’s release that she wasn’t even invited to the premiere.

Furthermore, she remained so enraged about her book’s mistreatment at the hands of the studio that she went to her grave refusing to entertain overtures for another adaptation, even reaffirming that preference in her will. However, the truth never seems to get in the way of a syrupy cinematic send-up with a stock, “happily ever after” ending.

To paraphrase Mary Poppins, “Just a spoonful of sugar helps revisionist history go down,” and in a most delightful way!

 

Excellent (3.5 stars)

Rated PG-13 for mature themes and unsettling images

Running time: 125 minutes

Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

 

To see a trailer for Saving Mr. Banks, visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nijccxWvyXU

Or: http://movies.disney.com/saving-mr-banks/video

 

 

,

Entertainment

Top Ten DVD List for June 27, 2017

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for June 27, 2017               The Lodger [Alfred Hitchcock Silent Film] https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XP1WFQF/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Trespass [25th Anniversary Collector's Edition] https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XHR8T93//ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Money [Heist Gone Bad Crime … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Gil’s Goodwill!

  Gil Robertson The “Book of Black Heroes” Interview with Kam Williams Gil's Goodwill! For nearly three decades, writer/author Gil L. Robertson, IV has used the written word to enlighten, empower and uplift. The one-time political organizer initially made his mark in entertainment journalism, penning over 50 national magazine covers and contributing bylines to a wide range of publications that include the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate

  How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate by Amy Lignor   You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already there, but who knew you would have even more so soon? What’s that? Oh…well, of course, in order to buy that new home with four bedrooms instead of two, you will also need to sell your present homestead in order to get the money needed to start paying on a new one. And, of … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Ejogo’s Largo!

    Carmen Ejogo The “It Comes at Night” Interview with Kam Williams Ejogo's Largo! Carmen Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott King’ opposite David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay's universally acclaimed SELMA as well as being singled out for her ‘mind-blowing’ lead role as Sister in SPARKLE alongside … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Fishing for swordfish in Louisiana? You bet

  Fishing for swordfish in Louisiana? You bet by Craig Lamb The Mississippi River delta and surrounding offshore waters are without a doubt some of the richest fishing waters in the world. Venice, Louisiana, is the hub for reaching the richest saltwater game fish waters in the U.S. Yellowfin tuna. Snapper. Grouper. Wahoo. Dolphin. Marlin. And lately, there are swordfish. If you want to experience the latest hot trend in Louisiana … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic

  You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic by Amy Lignor   No, the sport is not called ‘Zorba’, but it most definitely fits for this article’s title. This most unusual sport is actually called ‘Zorbing’, and has caught on like wildfire across the globe. And now, seeing as that the NBA has wrapped, with Golden State proving that they were determined to make amends for last season; and with the NHL closing up shop for the season … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects

  Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects by Amy Lignor   There are a whole list of summer activities for you and the kids planned. Most of them, of course, you want to be nothing but fun, such as grilling outside on the patio or swimming in the pool. However, having the backyard pool and patio are two things you really need in place before either of those activities could be enjoyed. And building this area could be a great … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

    Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All by Amy Lignor   It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the downsides of this fact is that when you’re looking for peace, quiet, and basically a chance to do nothing more than spend time with yourself and, perhaps, one other best friend, the most popular places don’t offer that. In other words, it is the most remote (sometimes most … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]