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Saving Mr. Banks - Film Review

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by TheOnlyFiona (subscribe)
In real life, I do discuss food exactly like how I write in my food review articles. As always my food reviews are scored only on what I've tried and the service expected of that type of establishment.
Published February 16th 2014
You thought it was about saving the children
The real Mary Poppins. The Oscar nominated true story behind Mary Poppins. P.L. Travers just became your favourite Australian author. She's the anti-hero author with a never-ending list of demands. Its hilarious viewing as Walt Disney practically jumps through hoops to secure Mary Poppin's film rights. There is much more to the Mary Poppins movie than you would have previously thought. This is the story behind the film, behind the children's novels, back to P.L.Travers' childhood.

Saving Mr. Banks poster
Saving Mr. Banks poster

The film intersperses between P.L. Travers as a wishful child in Australia and as a no-nonsense, accomplished author. Emma Thompson plays adult Travers beautifully, while Tom Hanks is perfect as Walt Disney. Colin Farrell plays Travers' whimsical father and the real Mr.Banks. Rachel Griffiths does a surprise cameo as the inspiration behind Mary Poppins.

For any author, their work is close to them. Like a child, a piece of literary work is very important. Criticism is hard for authors to take lightly and any alteration is unspeakably hard to stomach. For P.L. Travers selling the film rights was a very hard thing to do. She doesn't want it to happen and proves insufferable in negotiations with Walt Disney. She is a woman who is very hard to please.

Pre-production and scripting begin without Travers signing the contract for the film rights. She positions herself into the creative team and either bans or hates every one of their ideas. She even goes as far as record all conversations for her to scrutinise later. Travers is a refreshing anti-hero. Someone you love to hate. Determined and unrelenting, you will just be amazed at how much Disney and his team had to put up with in order to make the iconic film.

A legend in its own right, its hard to imagine any author today being so unrelenting with adapting their work much less one in the 1960s. Double points for a female author. It also makes you really consider how committed Disney was to this project. For him, adapting Mary Poppins was a real labour of love. Its amazing how much he respected Travers' wishes. Its hard to imagine any author/film production having such an agreement in contemporary times. Many contemporaries of Travers would be creative consultants on the sets of their film adaptations. However, it is hard to imagine even J.K. Rowling being such an unwielding totalitarian as Travers.

Travers' childhood is filled with wonder and tragedy. The true story of a young dreamer who had to become wise beyond her 7-8 years. Both her parents experience personal obstacles through Travers's childhood. It is only when Travers' past is acknowledged does real development occur for the Mary Poppins film.

Sentimental, real depth, a true story and a turbulent working relationship rolled into one. Saving Mr. Banks tells an incredible story. Watch the credits for actual audio recording from Mary Poppin's production.

Saving Mr. Banks satirical poster
Saving Mr. Banks satirical poster reflecting the struggle
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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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