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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

#46 Dear Rocky - Saving Mr Banks

Rocky's Saving Mr Banks' Review

Dear Rocky,

Wow, what a story. 

My relationship with Mary has been a little different to yours.  My first memories of her were of the record version talking book.  The album cover had an inbuilt picture book that we could read along to as we listened to the story and sang A Spoonful of Sugar.

This was the cover

Born in 1972, I inherited the 1964 version of the movie, like you, just not at the picture theatre.  I didn't know who P. L. Travers was, much less that she was born in Australia.  To me, Mary had no connections to my country whatsoever.  What a pleasant surprise to find out that she very much did, through Saving Mr Banks.

As an adult, my next connection to Mary was seeing the Australian musical production in Melbourne in 2012.  This production had the most amazing choreography for supercalifragilisticexpialidocious ever, and this photo is from one of the Queensland performances - taking Mary home.

I, unlike you Rocky, had no knowledge of the backstory until I went to the musical.  Even then, all I knew was that an Australian had written the story.

Saving Mr Banks was an education for me. 

Instead of focussing on the performances, all of which were brilliant, I would like to take a different view.

Little Helen Goff grew up with great love from a creative father, who, when present, took it upon himself to grow and nurture her imagination.  Thanks to him, in more ways than one, we have Mary Poppins.   But what must it be like for a young child, growing up with such instability, moving, an absent and unpredictable father, and a depressed and suicidal mother?

What the movie showed, was a child who internalised all of the distress and in an attempt to adapt, took all of it into adulthood - her rigidity, her need for control, her inability to connect or relate to others. 

For little Helen, the world was an unsafe place, yet this is an impossible realisation for a child in the world.  Biologically, our world needs to appear safe for us to be able to step out into it and develop ourselves. 

So, what happens when it's not?  We tend to blame ourselves.  There must be something wrong/unlovable/faulty with me.  Yes.  That's why my needs are not met.  It can't be that my world is unsafe because that would be unbearable.  No.  It must be all my fault.

I think that is what happened for P. L. Travers which is really quite sad.  And because her world wasn't safe, she created one.  Mary made it safe.  Just like the real life nanny did.

Your friend Rocky, didn't like the flashbacks?  I almost would have been happier if it was all back story.  Not that I didn't like the Walt Disney parts - I truly did.  I agree with you, Tom Hanks did an amazing job and I too was moved by the scene in London.

I agree with you also about Emma Thompson's performance.  She was downright annoying in the beginning, but by the end I was crying with her in the movie theatre.  The scene where she sits alone at the bar is also particularly heartbreaking for me.

It's cool that Mary Poppins still nurtures and soothes you, even as an adult.  Things from our childhood often do.  I too, understand Travers' bond to her creation.
I give Saving Mr Banks an 8 out of 10. 
Would love to see a photo of that autograph of yours!
What will we review next?

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Jodie! I just learned a little about myself. :-) And I posted the autographed picture. You can see it from our page or the blog itself. If you can't read it, it says "Hi, Rocky! God bless Dick Van Dyke." What will we review next? Hmmm. Let's definitely think about that! :-) I like your idea of having assistance from our wonderful followers!


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