Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Saving Mr Banks.

Apparently filmmaker and studio owner Walt Disney spent 20 years trying to get the film rights to enable him to make a story that his own children particularly liked about a ‘mystical and magical English nanny’ and a chimney sweep with the worse cockney accent your ever be unfortunate enough to hear! The story Mary Poppins was authored in 1934 by the Australian born novelist Helen Lyndon Goff who wrote under the pen name of P L Travers.

Helen Lyndon Goff.
If John Lee Hancock’s film Saving Mr Banks (2013) is anything to go by I would not mind betting that Walt wished he’d he never bothered. Mrs Travers, as she insisted on being called, was a bad tempered, rude, self obsessed spinster who brought to mind the lyric about ‘cobwebs’ from the Marianne Faithfull track ‘Why’d Yd Do It’ from Broken English.  We first meet this woman as an obnoxious misguided child who lived in a remote part of the Australian outback with her suicide prone mother, her drunken father, who hinged on the edge of insanity and a younger sister.  The film jumps back and forth between her rather unfortunate childhood and her visit to the Disney capitalist filmmaking utopia in New York.!

Mary Poppins, Walt Disney and Mrs Travers!

The extremely glossy production, were both the Mary Poppins story and the author’s repugnant outlook on life are explained away by her upbringing, stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P L Travers. Not exactly riveting, but it turned out to be an acceptable experience but one that was tadge over long and it will certainly not linger in your subconscious. Evidently it won an award for the ‘Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up’ that say’s it all really!

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