We gave it a B+
Studios usually go to great pains to cover up the behind-the-scenes fighting that takes place during a troubled movie production. But half a century is apparently the statute of limitations, with Walt Disney Pictures telling its own big-screen version of the bruising battle to make its beloved 1964 musical Mary Poppins. Tom Hanks plays Disney himself, while Emma Thompson stars as the terse Australian-born novelist P.L. Travers, who sparred with him at every stage of the adaptation of her classic book. ”All the people at Disney couldn’t believe it when she turned up and was quite so negative,” says Thompson.
The film also features Bradley Whitford as screenwriter Don DaGradi, and B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman as ”Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” composer brothers Robert and Richard Sherman. ”What’s so wonderful are the [frustrated] reactions of the guys who are writing and creating this film to the negativity and sheer beastliness of this fantastically recalcitrant woman, who wouldn’t be having any of it,” Thompson says. ”This juggernaut is being stopped in its tracks by one middle-aged woman in a good pair of shoes.” And not a spoonful of sugar in sight.