Mary Poppins is my favourite childhood character. For a few years, I wanted to be her when I grew up. After that, I just wanted to play her if I ever had to play a lead role in a movie. So, when I saw there was a movie about the author and how the Mary Poppins movie came to be made, despite the author being reluctant, I had to see it.
Mrs Travers as portrayed in Saving Mr Banks is a most adorable character. She is British, proper and respectable. The story behind her stiff character is revealed alongside the story of the development of the script of the Mary Poppins movie.
As a young girl, she slowly watches her fantastical father (played admirably by Colin Farrell – previously not on my radar) disintegrate into drink & illness. It becomes clear that when P. L. Travers says the characters in her books are family, she means these characters are based on her family; this is why she held so tightly to her story.
It is a beautifully told, amazingly acted movie. Emma Thompson is superb – she displays the heart within the tough old bird. In refusing to let Mr Banks be a horrid man and Mary Poppins to become a singing joke, she is protecting the legacy of two precious adults from her childhood.
To name only two others from the excellent cast – Tom Hanks played an awesome Walt Disney, the young Pamela, “Ginty,” was astounding, and Annie Rose Buckley has a tremendous career ahead of her.
I’d definitely recommend this movie, especially if you also grew up watching or reading Mary Poppins, or if you just have an interest in biography.
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