Fun fact of the day that is actually not that fun and more just me bragging: I gave a whole speech on the making of Mary Poppins in my public speaking class back in 2009 — so yes, when I first saw this trailer I may or may not have squealed with giddy, unbridled delight.
Instead of cramming tidbits of trivia like I do for most posts, I’ll just invite you to go to YouTube, where you’ll find an infinite amount of videos about the making of both Mary Poppins and Saving Mr. Banks. (Incidentally, there’s a short clip of Dick Van Dyke’s reminiscing about Mary Poppins at the premiere of this film.)
It is worth mentioning that in real life, P.L. Travers (the author of the Mary Poppins books) wasn’t exactly ecstatic about Disney’s Mary Poppins after she saw it, but I still really enjoyed the ending of this film.
Oh, and don’t be thrown off by the weird PG-13 rating. I wouldn’t watch this with my kids, but only because they’d be bored out of their mind, not because of the content (though some parts are really, really sad).
This movie definitely sealed my loyalty as an Emma Thompson fan. She delivers a masterful performance of a very complicated character. I’m not sure where I rank compared to her other fans, but you can put me down somewhere between enjoying her films and having her face sewn into my pillowcase. (Though I’m sure there’s some extra space on my pillowcase between Margaret Thatcher and the Jonas brothers.)
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: If your eyes don’t tear up in this movie, then your heart is made of stone and you owe Emma an apology.
Not that I care that much, but I find it interesting that a very beautiful, very original, very masterful movie such as this one was basically snubbed by the Oscars while a crass, superficial, so-called “cautionary tale” like The Wolf of Wall Street attracted the big nominations. It’s a sad commentary on the sort of asinine entertainment our society values most.
As with most truly good movies, there are lots of avenues you could take for uplifting messages from Saving Mr. Banks, but as a father myself, I identified most with the great responsibility we fathers have to our wives and children.
I didn’t go into much detail in my old blog post about Mary Poppins (I wish I would have), but Mr. Banks’ changing relationship with his children has always been what makes that movie special for me, at least in my adult years.
And while the dysfunctional childhood of P.L. Travers is hard to watch, we’re reminded once again that the world is in desperate need of better fathers — men who are willing to rise to their parental potential and put away childish things so they can put their families first, doing all they can to make them happy and prepare their children to be good parents themselves.
In short, we need more men who are willing to sit down with their kids and watch Mary Poppins once in a while — we have enough men who prefer the profane, pornographic pleasures of The Wolf of Wall Street.
“For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people…because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands. And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people…shall come up unto me against the men.” – Jacob 2:31-32