The film opens with a little girl with golden curls, eyes closed, daydreaming in a beautiful park in Maryborough,
The film opens with a little girl with golden curls, eyes closed, daydreaming in a beautiful park in Maryborough, Australia. From that moment on, you're hooked! Then you follow the girl through her less-than-fantasy-like childhood and into her adult life as an uptight London based writer. The girl is P.L Travers. Never heard of her? Well, she wrote one the most famous books of all time: Mary Poppins! “Saving Mr. Banks” tells the story of her tumultuous childhood and how it haunts her even when she’s grown up.
Emma Thompson stars in this incredible movie as P.L. Travers. She is perfect for the role, as she can convey so many different emotions with her face, a key part of this film. Opposite Thompson is Tom Hanks, portraying a happy, but determined Walt Disney trying to convince Travers to hand over the rights to “Mary Poppins” so the classic book can be turned into a Disney movie. Hanks is also wonderful, and the dynamic between the two stars is so realistic, you almost forget it’s a movie. Adding to this movie’s charm is the fact that all the characters are subtly funny, you will get to enjoy many laugh-out-loud moments!
But the drama unfolding in L.A. California at Disney Studios isn’t the only storyline going on. Intermixed with the making of “Mary Poppins” is a another story, one that P.L Travers is flashing back on. It is the story of her childhood. At first all seems well as she and her family move to a new town in rural Australia. Travers’ father loves her very much and spoils her with ice cream and kisses. But soon, money problems become too much for young Travers’ father and he becomes an alcoholic. As he gets sicker, Travers’ aunt comes to assist the family. Near the beginning of the film, it is hard to make the connection between the two plotlines, but about half-way through, you realize that “Mary Poppins” is based off of Travers’ own childhood!
This film is rated PG-13, but except for a few non-offensive swear words uttered by Travers (she was a very disagreeable person), it is not inappropriate. The film was given this rating because of Travers’ father’s alcoholism, but it is not a reason to deter younger kids from seeing this movie. Mostly, you should just make sure that your kids or younger siblings understand the adult theme of this movie. Some younger kids would enjoy this film, but it’s probably best to take the nine and up crowd to “Saving Mr. Banks”. Much younger than that, they will get confused by the dual-plot line of the movie and it’s clever humor will fly over their head.
All in all, this film is charming, combining heart wrenching drama with laugh out loud comedy. You should definitely put it on your movies-to-see list over the holidays. As for why it’s called “Saving Mr. Banks”? You’ll just have to watch the movie and find out!