Saving Mr Banks

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I saw this film when it first came out at the cinema and for the life of me I can’t remember whether I reviewed the film at the time. I watched the film again on Netflix last night and thought I would review it, although I apologise if you have read a review of the film from me before.

Firstly I have to say that unlike Pamela Travers I loved the Mary Poppins film as a child. It has been many years since I last saw the film, but I remember it fondly. It was almost like a Christmas tradition to see Mary Poppins fly off under her umbrella.

This is the story of how Walt Disney got the rights to make a film of Mary Poppins. He had made a promise to his daughter that he would make it and had tried for 20 years to break through the writers reluctance to get her book on the big screen. Mrs Travers made it extremely difficult for Walt who was used to getting what he wanted. She was stubborn, argumentative, dismissive, angry,bitter, uptight… This made the process almost impossible, but we all know Walt got what he wanted.

We get the chance to see why Mrs Travers was so difficult. We see flash backs of her life as a child in Australia. She adored her father although he battled with alcoholism and died young. We see how important this relationship was in her life and how her mother struggled to look after her. We also see where Mary Poppins came from and who Mr Banks really was! The film is called saving Mr Banks because that’s who Mary Poppins was saving when she arrived, not the children.

Tom Hanks plays Walt in a very natural and friendly way. I couldn’t say if he is anything like Walt, But he is how you imagine him to be. It’s a good performance, but this film is about Pamela Travers. Emma Thompson plays the writer very well with the intention to make the part full of humour. We laugh at her obstinate ways and feel sad about her father’s shortcomings. She is played as a lady determined to keep hold of her characters and make no compromise. I think Emma Thompson plays the part very well. Is it realistic? From what I have read Pamela was far worse in real life and had a real mean streak and wasn’t the most caring of souls. I think had she been played more realistically the film would suffer. I think the light hearted way this film was made is important. We don’t want to wreck the magic of Disney.

I really enjoyed this film and could easily watch it again. It’s an easy watch and a heart warming tale. I enjoyed the relationship develop between Travers and her driver. I also enjoyed the humour brought about in the frustration that everyone felt when dealing with this obstinate woman. I think it was a good idea to make the story lighthearted, but still deal with the emotions Travers had held about her upbringing.

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A nice duvet day view.

8/10

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