Saving Mr Banks

2014-02-21 08:59
What it's about:

Author P. L. Travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, Mary Poppins.

What we thought:

For almost 20 years Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) tried to get the rights to bring the story of Mary Poppins to the big screen. PL Travers (Emma Thompson), the author, was adamant in not selling them as she was afraid that the big Hollywood machine would harm her beloved character. With book sales dwindling and her financial status deteriorating she somewhat agrees and heads off to meet with Disney. During her two week stay in Los Angeles Disney woes her with imaginative storyboards and catchy songs but Travers still puts up a fight.

The movie alternates between Travers in Los Angles and flashbacks of her childhood as Helen (Annie Rose Buckley) growing up in rural Austrailia in 1901 and the relationship between her and her alcoholic father, Travers (Colin Farrell). It is in these scenes that the heart of the story is revealed and we learn what led to the creation of the character, Mary Poppins.

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks were amazing and I cannot understand why neither of them were  nominated for an Oscar.

Emma Thompson is brilliant in her portrayal of the prickly, rigid, prim and proper English woman. She is hard, stubborn and is not pleased by anything and you cannot help but really be irritated by this woman. It must really be a joy to play a character like this in which you can live out being an adult spoilt brat.  But it  is merely  a smokescreen to hide behind the deeper issues that she has been struggling with. Travers is a woman haunted by her past and she is bogged down by guilt and pain and ‘daddy issues’ that she has never dealt with. Thompson pulls off this part of the role just as well.

You cannot help but grieve for the little girl who had to grow up too soon. Childhood is a magical time that needs to be cherished and it is just so unfair that this little girl was exposed to the reality and darkness of life at a young age.

Tom Hanks is charismatic in his portrayal of Disney. He is just so cool, the total opposite to the uptight Travers.  He is fuelled by a promise he made to his daughters to bring these books to life. As Travers pushes he pushes back harder but she keeps winning and there is a point where you really think that Disney is going to give up. The biggest disappointment for him is not being able to keep his promise to his daughters. Here you grieve for the father who feels that he has failed his children.

It is both heart warming and sad and there are moments when you will get choked up. It explores the fragile relationship between parents and their children and the lasting effects, good or bad, it can have on a child. There is another underlying theme which comes out strongly towards the end of the movie and that is how we can create beautiful things out of heartache and pain. How through stories we can heal and bring hope. This movie will linger with you long after the credits have rolled.

The story of how Mary Poppins came to be will tug at your heartstrings and linger long after the credits have rolled.
Read more on:    tom hanks  |  emma thompson  |  movies

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