Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)
Poppins Truth No Fairytale
Byline: Seanna Cronin
ALL-STAR CAST: Emma Thompson as PL Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks.
Saving Mr Banks
STARS: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Bradley Whitford.
DIRECTOR: John Lee Hancock
REVIEWER'S LAST WORD: A touching exploration of the story behind one of Disney's classic films.
AN AUSTRALIAN TV producer more accustomed to working on the small screen is behind Disney's latest hit film Saving Mr Banks.
Ian Collie's collaboration with Aussie screenwriter Sue Smith was the start of what would eventually become the star-studded film, which features Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author PL Travers.
"Not many Australian TV producers get to be involved in a studio film with this calibre of cast," Collie said.
"I've hit a home run, to use an American expression, on my first outing."
The film focuses on Mr Disney's efforts to secure the film rights from Travers - whose long list of demands included no animation, singing or use of the colour red - and the two weeks she spent nitpicking at the work of songwriters Robert and Richard Sherman and scriptwriter Don DaGradi.
The film slowly reveals, through flashbacks to Travers's childhood, that her protectiveness over Mary Poppins stemmed from her love for her father, an alcoholic bank clerk who died when she was a girl.
Collie calls it the story of Mary Poppins "without the spoonful of sugar".
"She wasn't a likable character," he said.
"But (through the course of the film) you understand what motivated and drove her.
"She mythologises and redeems her father in some ways through the character of Mr Banks.
"As she lets go, we let go with her."
Mr Disney spent nearly 20 years persuading the prickly Travers to sign over the movie rights to Mary Poppins, motivated by a promise he made to his daughters.
Just like Disney himself, Collie's original interest in PL Travers was inspired by his daughter. …