Director John Lee Hancock, who made the Blind Side (Sandra Bullock got her Oscar for playing super mom), amongst many other films, has dared to tell this tale which speaks of an author’s journey and a dream maker’s challenge.
Serving us a slice of history which many may not know about, Walt Disney has been pursuing writer of the famous Mary Poppins, Mrs. P.L. Travers, for two decades. Once she signs over the rights of her beloved nanny story, he can fulfil his promise to his daughters of making her come alive on screen.
We have an author who won’t give up her story, and a dream maker who wants to make people of all ages happy. Their battle, whilst the author fights her own memories, moves this film on a leisurely pace, to match the era it is set in.
For an aspiring author like me, this film is a magical insight into the psychology of such a celebrated writer, enacted brilliantly by Emma Thompson. Tom Hanks has been given his trade mark monologue in the film at the end, where his voice and expressions tell us everything he was trying to hold back.
Collin Farrell does full justice to the role of young Traver’s father, the source of her inspiration as a writer, as he indulges her imagination and is pretty theatrical himself. A very unlikely role for an actor of his repertoire.
The film has its humour and drama, ending with a sense of accomplishment and evolution, for both the characters and the audience, summed up eloquently in a line by Walt Disney:
“Life is a harsh sentence to lay down for yourself.”