What attracted me to this film was two things; Disney and Mary Poppins. I have never read any of P.L. Travers's book on the British iconic character of Mary Poppins but I have seen the film.
This film in particular, tells the story of both P.L. Travers (to a certain extent) but mainly of how long and how hard it was to get her to sign over the rights to created the film, Mary Poppins (over 20 years!).
Saving Mr. Banks is set in 1961 and begins with P.L. Travers in London. Her agent is trying to convince her to sign on to the making of Mary Poppins and so begins her journey. The films contains flashbacks to her childhood in Australia in the early 1900's. Her father was an alcoholic and lived in a magical world of his own, often including Helen (P.L. Travers) in his imaginary games. The film suggests her childhood then influenced the characters in her book. For example, Mr. Banks, the father in the film Mary Poppins is loosely based on her own father named Travers.
I questioned whether or not the film was accurate because it seemed almost like fiction but I have to say after reading about her life and the making of the film, this film is quite accurate. The film connect her past with her reasons why she fights signing over the film to Disney, which I found both thoughtful and emotional.
I do have to confess I found Travers's character to be off putting. I almost didn't want to watch the film the first few minutes because she was just so blatantly rude and snobby. After understanding her background and how she lived her life you can almost understand why she was the way she was. Let's just say she wasn't a happy cupcake and she carried many demons with her.
There were a few parts that I found delightful and as a Disney fan, just elated to see. I loved the part when she bonds with her large stuffed Mickey Mouse doll, the relationship between Ralph and herself, the scene at Disneyland (swoon), and the scene where she sings, "Let's go fly a kite".
I also loved, loved, loved, and loved the costumes! I mean it was set in the early 60s, just dreamy. I wanted every outfit everyone wore!
This film was emotional and sentimental but so enjoyable. Once I got past her upper crust snobbery and understood her character better I just found it a true joy to watch. If you would like to learn more about the people behind the making of Mary Poppins and this film HERE is a fantastic article to read!
Have you seen this film? Have you ever seen Mary Poppins or read the books?