Friday, December 13, 2013

'Saving Mr. Banks' Brings on the Charm

P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) rides the horses to placate Walt Disney
(Tom Hanks) in "Saving Mr. Banks." Photo: Walt Disney Productions


The stories behind the story of Mary Poppins, both the book and the movie, are fascinating tales – probably more fascinating than any of us realized until now. Saving Mr. Banks explores two of these stories bouncing back and forth from the early 1900’s when author P.L. Travers was just a little girl living in Australia and 1961 when she made the trip from London to Los Angeles to meet with Mr. Disney and hopefully discourage him from turning her book into a movie.

The movie presents a mystery – how can such a happy and imaginative girl in the first story turn into such a sourpuss in the second? Mrs. Travers’ younger self (Annie Rose Buckley) spent her days building houses out of twigs and leaves while her adoring father (Colin Farrell), would spin wild tales to entertain her. Her mother (Ruth Wilson) was distant, but for good reason. When her husband wasn’t drinking, he gave all his energy to his daughter. It is important to note that all of these scenes are seen from a child's point of view.

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