I just saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks, maybe some of you have already seen it, some of you may have not. To all of you who haven’t, please go! You’ll cry, laugh and smile the whole movie (at least I hope you will, because I certainly did). This is definitely one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen.
Saving Mr. Banks is the story behind the story of Mary Poppins. What gave her life, the reasons for her existence, everything that made P.L Travers create such a wonderful character and, of course, everything that made Walt Disney want to turn this story into a movie.
We all know Mary Poppins. She’s the nanny everyone wanted when we were kids (well I did), full of happiness, surprises, love, magic and possibilities. For her, everything was possible, if you only believed it could be. But what we don’t know is why or how P.L Travers came to create this magical character and not only her, but also the Banks and Bert (and everyone else around her, for that matter).
So.. Here in Saving Mr. Banks you get to know and understand where everything comes from. The depth, sentiment and importance of the story.
“Mary Poppins and the Banks, they’re family to me”. – P.L. Travers
Why was this story so important to P.L Travers? Why couldn’t she give her away? There’s a connection between the story and the author’s life, one I couldn’t begin to imagine. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking kind of thing. It all starts with Helen Goff and her dad. Her wonderful, imaginative, alcoholic and yet loving father, Travers Goff. Yes, he had his flaws, but when it came down to his girls, he loved them with all his heart and devotion. And little Ginty (Helen) always looked up to him. He was her hero, her love, her everything.
He had a big influence on her. He made her believe she could accomplish anything she wanted in life, that whatever dreams she had, they could come true. So, when he gets sick, she tries to do everything she can to save him. But she couldn’t, and neither could her mother or her aunt. So she feels like she failed him somehow. That feeling stays with her for the rest of her life. That is, until she finally decides to do the movie.
Mary Poppins is created from the death of her father. So yes, P.L. Travers creates the characters and the story based on her life. Mary Poppins, I thought, was like some kind of mix version of her aunt, who came to the Goff’s house with the promise of “fixing everything”, and Ginty herself, because she always did whatever her father needed her to do. And she thought and felt he needed her to save him. So, in this magical character was a redeemer quality, like through her, she could keep the good parts of her father and save the ones that needed saving. It wasn’t the kids Mary Poppins came to save. It was Mr. Banks who needed saving from a life of unhappiness, misfortune and bitterness.
And, to give Mary Poppins a real chance, P.L. Travers needed to stop remembering her father’s flaws. She needed to see his good qualities, the one that made him a wonderful father. The ones that made her believe there were good things in life.
This is the story of unconditional love, trust and magical possibilities.
Now, the performance.
There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing they all were. Everyone was important to the story. Everyone gave something magical to the movie. Tom Hanks couldn’t have done it any better, he recreated perfectly his role of Walt Disney. Colin Farrell did an incredible job. He managed to put every emotion there is in the book into his performance, and it was out-of-this-world amazing. You could see the regret he felt over his flaws, his unhappiness he felt towards his job but overall, the love and devotion he felt for his girls, which was unbelievably real, and it was absolutely beautiful. And Emma Thompson… WOW! What an amazing actress. They all are amazing. And her performance was incredible. She managed to she captured everything I guess there was to capture and gave a realistic performance.
This is what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again, and again, and again.
This was absolutely beautiful. A wonderful movie that will make you see Mary Poppins with a whole new perspective. This was just perfect.