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Tom Hanks to bookend London Film Festival

The BFI has announced the 57th London Film Festival will close with Saving Mr Banks, the story of how Mary Poppins was brought to the big screen. Emma Thompson stars as the author PL Travers with Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney.

The film is directed by The Blind Side’s John Lee Hancock and co-stars Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti and Ruth Wilson.

Hanks is also at the centre of the festival’s opening film, the Paul Greengrass’s pirate thriller Captain Phillips.

The festival director, Clare Stewart, said there was only one word that gave full expression to the inventiveness and creativity of the film: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. “Positively overflowing with its ebullient love of storytelling and the film-making process,” she continued, “Saving Mr Banks is also a magical ode to the brilliance and volatility of the two very different creative forces behind the making of Mary Poppins.”

The producer Alison Owen, from Ruby Films, described the film as “very much about British manners versus American values” and said she felt very honoured. “We hope Pamela Travers would approve wholeheartedly,” she added, pointing out that the film was shot in the London street where the author lived.

The London Film Festival which, in an unusual move, is charging journalists to attend the event, will end on 20th October, with Saving Mr Banks scheduled to be released in the UK in January 2014.

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