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If you were to ask me which part of Saving Mr. Banks I have enjoyed the most I would have a hard time choosing. Everything about it is brilliant: every actor, every scene, the costumes, the scenery, the photography…
I am a die-hard Walt Disney fan and he has been my inspiration since I was a child and, sketching album and large box of Caran D’Ache colored pencils in front of me, I drew Disney characters like the cows come home, copying them from movie posters, books, comic books… I even had several original (Italian) movie posters on the walls of my “art room”: a space on the very top floor of the house that I requisitioned for myself because it had beautiful light, with the window on the left of where the desk would go, so my (right) sketching arm would not cast a shadow over what I was working on. I think the posters are still there. The colored pencils are with me, the original box and lots more added over the years. My thesis was on Walt Disney, and his famous quote “If you can dream it, you can do it.” is engraved on the back of my iPad.
You can imagine then how, getting a glimpse into Disney productions of the early 1960s, when its creator was still alive and active, was a real treat for me. And Tom Hanks played him beautifully, with such attention to detail and mannerism that I forgot it was not the real Disney. That is the work of true talent.
The movie is the story of the process of adapting the Mary Poppins books for the big screen by the Disney studios with the reluctant co-operation of their author Pamela L. Travers – brilliantly played by actor extraordinaire Emma Thompson – who fights the studio every step of the way as painful memories from her childhood stir inside her, shown to us in beautifully created flashbacks that are never too long.
The cast is stellar. Besides the already mentioned Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, more brilliance comes from Colin Farrell as Travers Goff, Paul Giamatti as Ralph the chaffeur, Rachel Griffiths as Aunt Ellie (the inspiration for Poppins), Jason Schwartzman as Richard Sherman, Ruth Wilson as Margaret Goff, and Annie Rose Buckley as Ginty (young Pamela).
The movie, which received 45 nominations and 10 wins, is just like life: funny, sad, dramatic, happy, delightful… so you can expect a little bit of all of that. The photography is exquisite and a source of inspiration for me at every turn. You can watch a preview trailer by clicking here.
The movie is available through iTunes as digital download or, of course, at Amazon.
As a side note: I fell in love with the beautiful Victorian house Ginty and her family lived at in Sidney and sadly had to leave when they moved to the boonies. I searched the internet until I found it. It is a vintage Victorian that was rescued and placed within the grounds of the Heritage Square Museum in Montecito (Los Angeles), a place I indent to visit very soon.
Have you seen Saving Mr. Banks? How did you enjoy it? What about Mary Poppins? Have you seen that one? Which is your favorite Disney movie? For me it is really hard to choose.
“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down, the medicine go down…”
Good, now it’s stuck in your head, too!
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