Movies: Saving Mr. Banks

I don't know anything about P.L. Travers outside what Wikipedia has to say. And I don't know anything about Mary Poppins except what I've seen in the Disney film (the book was, alas, not part of my childhood . . . or adulthood, for that matter). So I have no way of knowing how accurate Saving Mr. Banks is in terms of whether Travers was really so difficult and how she received Disney's movie version of her book. I suspect, perhaps, not very.

That she'd cried at the premiere—I'd heard that before. But were they tears of anger? Or, as Saving Mr. Banks suggests, was she moved by the movie?

I can't say Saving Mr. Banks entertained me much. And it was a sadder story than I had expected, what with all the flashbacks to Travers' childhood and the death of her father. I was confused a bit by her not wanting such fanciful elements in the movie, since her father was portrayed as having great imagination. If she wanted to honor her father, would she not want to include such flights of fancy? But then again, that imagination was part of what hindered her father and kept getting him fired, so . . . Maybe she felt if he'd been more realistic and so forth, he'd have done better and lived longer. (But then he'd have been a different person, wouldn't he? Not the same father she'd adored.)

Well, at least the movie gave me that much to consider. But now what I really want to know is the truth of the matter. I may, after I finish reading this Cary Grant biography, have to read more about Travers. I may even read Mary Poppins.

It must be the height of self-satisfaction on the part of the Disney corporation, though, to put forth the notion that they (Disney himself, along with his employees) got through to Travers and touched her heart in some way. Not only that, but that they spurred her to write more books! It was all them! Disney was as good as a therapist! Even the chauffeur helped!

Again, I really don't know how accurate any of it is. But the victors write the history books, right? And produce the movies, too.

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