The film Saving Mr. Banks came out in 2013, but I watched it for the first time yesterday. Before watching the film, I did not know what to expect. I knew the story would be about Disney and Mary Poppins, but that was the extent in which I was familiar with the movie.
Saving Mr. Banks (2013) stars Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, and more. The movie centers around family, story-telling, creativity and dealing with the struggles that life presents us with. I found that this movie perfectly explains why I love movies, why I love writing and story-telling. This movie showcases the brilliance of creativity, and its ability to heal and help us work through our hard times.
I hope you watch this film, if you have not watched it yet. It is available on Netflix, so I recommend that you check it out if you can! It is helpful to watch, especially during this time of uncertainty, and being quarantined away from family and friends.
What is this movie about?
The base of this movie is about the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), who is in a battle with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) over the rights to her stories. Travers does not want to give up the rights to Disney, but she needs the money from selling the rights to support herself. She does not want her story to become something that she doesn’t support and something that is different then the vision of her characters that she has in her head. However, Disney is committed to buying the story’s rights because he made a promise to his daughters that he intends on keeping.
But, the film is about much more then that. Across the journey of the movie, we see flashbacks into Travers’ childhood and learn more about her relationship with her father. We quickly learn that the story of Mary Poppins is inspired by her childhood and the people who came into her life, which explains why she is so specific about how she wants the Mary Poppins movie to portray her characters. She wants the movie to correctly exemplify the people that she cares about, she does not want to disrespect the characters in any way, she wants to portray them correctly and accurately.
What to think about?
This film left me thinking about the story behind movies and books that most people are unaware of. For example, think about the hit movies in the Hunger Games series. These movies were very popular and many people read the books. But, how many people know what inspired the author to write these books? I, for one, do not know what inspired these books.
Saving Mr. Banks reminded me to consider the inspiration behind a movie or book. Learning about the background of the person who wrote a story gives you context and more appreciation for the story in front of you. It is brilliant to learn how a story was conceived and what conditions led to the story’s arrival in the world. Was it a hard time? A happy moment? A confusing, explorative time in the author’s life? Maybe I am just interested in all of this because I am a writer myself, but I think learning about the context in which a story was written makes me appreciate a story that much more.
After watching this film, I have a whole new look at the movie, Mary Poppins (1964), that I watched during my childhood. The story has a whole new meaning, and context that I did not realize when I watched it as a child.
My Favorite Part of the Movie
The reason why I love this movie so much is because I can relate to Travers. I also turn to writing when I need to work through something in my head. When you spend so much time writing a character, and infusing it with so much love and parts of yourself, it can be so hard to give that character to someone else, and trust that they will treat the character correctly.
Travers had a hard childhood, she dealt with some really hard times, but she turned her life around, and pushed herself out of her comfort zone by the end of the film. I really enjoyed the character arc that is shown in this movie, and the unique personality of Travers herself. The way she spoke, and the respect she had for herself and her story, is admirable. I learned a lot from her, that I will work into my daily life.
Watch this Movie: 9.5/10
This movie is sad, maybe that is why I took off a star. But truly, I cannot name something I would change about this movie. The actors were all great and the flashbacks were easy to understand in relation to the present story. Sometimes there were continuity issues that bothered me for an instant, but the story quickly drew me back in. I think I would rate this movie 9.5/10 (but I can’t figure out how to select 9.5 stars, so I will go with 9 for now).
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Thank you for reading. I really hope you take some time to watch this brilliantly, well-told movie, I think you will learn a lot from it. I wrote this review the day after I watched the film, so that shows how much I enjoyed this movie, and how much I wanted to write about it and share it with you. Enjoy the rest of your day!