Saving Mr. Banks is an enlightening presentation that can enhance wonderful memories or make viewers appreciate historic entertainment.
The movie reveals the drudgery it took to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen in the 1960s. Author P.L. Travers reluctantly meets with Walt Disney’s film writers and composers to figure out how to make a movie from her children’s book.
Magnificently played by Emma Thompson, Travers is difficult and defensive when it comes to how her beloved Mary Poppins is to be portrayed. Flashbacks to her upbringing in Australia reveals why. Her book is based on her childhood experiences with her father, whom Travers admires, despite his faults, which includes alcohol abuse; her mother, who does not handle the family’s “downsizing” ordeals well; and her aunt, who comes to make all things better.
Tom Hanks plays Disney. At first, I was skeptical, knowing that Hanks’ voice does not resemble Disney’s, but the amazing actor pulls it off, as he always does, and makes me feel foolish for doubting. Never has Disney, the iconic entertainer/entrepreneur, been portrayed in a movie. To make it happen would take a genius, due to the fact that Disney is quite revered in many aspects. Hanks IS that genius.
Much can be appreciated in this film. The supporting cast is excellent, and all should be applauded. If one role should be highlighted, it would be Paul Giamatti’s, who plays Travers’ chauffer. Travers describes him as her favorite American, and viewers understand how he wins the title.
One element that I captured from the movie is the importance of fatherhood. This is evident throughout the show with Travers, but even Disney reveals his father’s influence on his life at a key moment in the movie.
In a time when certain groups seem to downplay the role fathers have on children, even to go so far to say father figures are irrelevant, this movie redeems how the institution of family is perceived and how both mothers and fathers are needed in the lives of children. Many men today have failed to be faithful fathers, but never neglect the opportunity for the Gospel to be shared to those who don’t have fathers in their lives. For they can learn about the “Father of the fatherless” (Ps. 68:5).
Saving Mr. Banks is rated PG-13. No glaring language issues, nor sexual content, but alcohol abuse and a suicide attempt is featured and could be unsuitable for young children.
I don’t dare consider myself an expert on this year’s movies, but unless there’s another film that caters to Hollywood’s politics, I don’t see how Saving Mr. Banks is surpassed as Best Picture. Yes, it is that good.
Photo credit: Disney