Saving Mr. Banks (2013) Review
The story (or inspired by the story) behind Disney’s much-loved film Mary Poppins and how difficult it was to get from the page to screen, with author P.L. Travers holding onto her beloved character and wanting her true meaning to shine through.
My love for Mary Poppins has always and will always be huge, it is such a magical film and the songs are so memorable. It can make you laugh and cry but then laugh again and that is the magic Disney can bring to a film. So to be able to watch another film about the making and coming together of Disney and Travers to create something that has lived on over the years and still reaches new generations in the same way is fantastic to see. I throughly enjoyed this film from start to finish. This will again have you wanting to cry but then smiling, while getting into hearing those much-loved songs.
The film is split into the current day in P.L. Travers life and negotiations with Walt Disney and the writers about what is going to happen to Mary Poppins and flashback form of a young girl and her life with her father. It is easy for the audience to see that this young girl is P.L. Travers herself thinking back and showing how Mary Poppins helped save everything in terms of writing the books. The battle for the rights to make the book into a film had been going on for 20 years. Travers seemed to be very passionate about Disney not being able to make the film.
I liked the switching between the two different stories as seeing the flashbacks helped to aid understanding to certain reactions from Travers when certain incidents happened. She did not come across as the nicest of women but softens in the end, but one thing is for sure her love of Mary Poppins runs extremely deep. When Walt Disney began to realise this was when he could try to eventually win her over.
Having now seen the film and reading a few articles online it seems as though this film is quite far from the actual truth and Travers hated the film and what Disney made of Mary Poppins. Which I guess wouldn’t have made the best film to watch. This has still not taken away anything from my enjoyment of the film. I really did find myself smiling at times, all you need to hear is “let’s go fly a kite” and that moment in this film really did get to me and I wanted to sing-a-long.
The performances from both Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are absolutely brilliant, they really did work so well together as the contrasting characters. Thompson really is underrated at times in my opinion and really shines in this role with the very British nature of Travers and this was shown in some brilliant comedy moments and one liners. I thought Paul Giamatti was very good in the role of Travers driver and created a couple of very heartwarming moments. I had no idea Colin Farrell was in this film, but players her father in the flashback scenes and really adds another edge to the film. I am sure we will see some award nominations for the main two come awards season!
I think the film should make us take a look at if we hold onto the past how letting go can be a good thing, how it can help and close that page, helping you get ready to start a new chapter. I loved the little touches which linked back to Mary Poppins and suggesting how things were named or worked out. Especially with a film I have seen so many times (and probably know it word for word). It really does make that little bit of difference watching something like this.
As it stands at the moment it is probably the film I have enjoyed the most this year, it just had a lot of sentimental value on a personal level as well. I guess a lot of people are going to feel like that, as let’s face it we have all pretty much grown up with Mary Poppins in our lives now, so I guess she is our Mary Poppins now too.