‘Don’t you ever stop dreaming. You can be anyone you want to be…’
When stuck for something to watch of a rainy Sunday afternoon, it’s an indisputable truism that you really can’t beat Tom Hanks. He’s as reliable as a Greggs sausage roll, as trustworthy as pair of loyal, old boots. And so it came to pass that I finally got round to watching Saving Mr. Banks…
That old jew-hating, mouse-drawing scoundrel Walt Disney (Hanks) made a promise to his children that he would one day bring Mary Poppins to the big screen. Standing in his way is the reluctant creator of Poppins, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson).
Hanks is as versatile an actor as they come and he is just as at home verbally jousting with Emma Thompson as he befriending inanimate objects on Castaway. This is the beauty of the man. And he is a beautiful man.
Experienced director John Lee Hancock breathes life into this true(ish) tale of two pop culture heavyweights fighting it out. Both Hanks and Thompson have a lot of fun while still being professional enough to ensure that the more emotional scenes are handled with gravitas and decorum. Good old fashioned British decorum in Thompson’s case which, as we all know, is the best bloody type of decorum there is.
Joining the fun are an exasperated B.J. Novak and a hilariously cowed Jason Schwartzman as the Sherman Brothers – a pair of legendary songwriters who have provided us with some of the most memorable show tunes ever written. This eclectic and starry cast gel perfectly to ensure that nothing ever grows stale despite the cyclical and repetitive nature of the story line.
If we’re all being honest with each other however, we know why we are here. It’s to see Tom Hanks make witty asides to Emma Thompson will she brusquely dismisses them. And I could literally watch that all day.
As ever with anything Tom Hanks related, Saving Mr Banks is a great Sunday afternoon film.
For a list of the top 10 greatest Tom Hanks movies, click here.