Serious Anti-Banks Grenade

Some of us have been saying all along that there’s something vaguely loathsome about the Disney-kowtowing, reality-denying aspects of Saving Mr. Banks. Mark Harris said “it’s a nice Disney-corporate-retreat film about how studios always know best.” A few days ago I said “it’s Hollywood factory-friendly…the sugarcoat syndrome wins out in the end and the artist goes home in frustration and the movie is a hit.” And now L.A. Weekly critic Amy Nicholson has hit these points double-hard and stood up for the real P.L. Travers.

  • Brad

    This writer is a moron. If you don’t like the film’s treatment of Travers, then blame the script, not the director. Hancock didn’t write it nor did he develop someone’s else source material with one or more screenwriters. Kelly Marel conceived the film’s treatment of Travers, not Hancock. But I guess it’s really, really hard to make the argument that the film is sexist with, you know, these inconvenient fact, so this idiot writes around them. Here’s a truthbomb to this grenade: if you have to work THAT hard to ignore some pretty relevant facts, then maybe your argument is not that worth making. Or, you know, you could just stick with lame cliches in the hope that unthinking bloggers will give you a THUMBS UP for your drivel.

    • Awardsdaily

      The film tells Disney’s side of the story, though. There is never any question of whether PL Travers was “right.” We were to believe she was just “difficult” and a shrew about it all. But having said that, I think it’s nitpicking and dismissing what is great about the movie.

      • Brad

        The film may be more from Disney’s side (exploring his attempts to understand her), but Nicholson’s ludicrous historical revisionism tells us nothing but Nicholson’s side, not Travers. Apparently, Hancock is a SUPER-SEXIST for, umm, being hired to faithfully direct a popular script by Marcel. MONSTER.

    • Steven Gaydos

      And one more time with feeling, a reasoned, intelligent view, (ie not a dumbass takedown), of what the screenplay is attempting:

      • Brad

        Thanks for the link. You’re right. That article actually is intelligent and insightful. Shocker.

  • Brian Bouton

    It’s criminal of the producers not to include the scene where Roy Disney had Walt’s corporate goon squad kidnap her and brought to the Disney lot where she was forced to sign the rights away with a gun to her head.

    Oh wait, that’s because she did take Roy Disney’s phone call AND agreed to sell the rights away AND go out to Burbank to collaborate on the film.

    AND she didn’t “crash” the premiere, she asked Walt’s permission to attend even though somehow she hated how the film was ruined? What the fuck? Why would she insist on attending if she hated the film and how her legacy was ruined?

    AND she refused to assent to sequels BUT later on allowed stage versions to use elements from the film she somehow hated INSTEAD of scrapping the whole thing and insisting on her vision being brought to life.

    Fuck this historical revisionism. It’s a movie and it’s about as true to life and sensible as her behavior in that situation. Of course, Walt wouldn’t scrap those great songs if the picture didn’t go through and put them in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, he wasn’t an idiot.

    I love how this makes him out to be some sort of evil, manipulate genius instead of a man whose vision brought to screen one of the best children’s pictures of all time.

    • Brad

      I am glad it isn’t just me that’s sick of sick of film critics (i.e. people who sit in darkened rooms and watch movies) pretending they are INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS whenever a film based on a true story is released?

  • pizan܍amore


    This article is excellent!

  • bentrane

    The surviving Sherman brother has recently testified to how difficult she was to work with.

    • Jeff Unchained

      Went to a “BANKS” Q&A to hear Richard Sherman say that everything we see on the screen depicting Travers at the Disney Studios is right on target. He should know, he was in the room…

  • bastard in a basket

    Warner Brothers is currently,in production on “Saving Jack Torrence.” The film will detail the struggle between Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King regarding the adaptation of The Shining. There will be scenes of Kubrick screaming at King that having the hedge animals come alive in the movie will look stupid. There will be flashbacks to King’s own personal battles with alcoholism with Kubrick in modern day screaming at King that explaining too much of Jack’s backstory and his drinking problems will ruin the film. Finally, there will be an epilogue about how King can’t stop bad mouthing the film 25 years later even though it’s considered an all time classic and King gladly took the paycheck when selling the rights. Who will be cast is unknown at this point.

    • Circumvrent

      You joke, but I’d get on line for this movie tonight.

  • Dave Glanz

    I’m suspicious of most films with the word “Saving” in the title anyway (with “Saving Private Ryan” being the exception).

  • pizan܍amore

    The Last Temptation of Walt Disney

    “I see children and I feel sorry for them, that’s all.”

  • Christopher A. Otto

    Banks is finished as it relates to awards season. DOA.

  • Charles Peligro

    I would have preferred a behind the scenes tale of the making of Walt’s little known prewar film, Nazi Supermen Are Our Superiors.

  • berg

    the article above would be better if the writer didn’t go for the “he was frozen” cheap shot …. One shot I liked in SMB was at the beginning when we see Travers and on her reading shelf is a copy of a book by Gurdjieff

  • Steven Gaydos

    Guess this proves that “Saving Mr Banks” is legitimately one of the big three contenders for the Oscar Best Picture prize. The preposterous takedowns are out in full-force. What’s next: the truth about Goofy?

    • Mr. F.

      I hope so — I’d really like to know. Is he a dog, and if so, why is he any different from Pluto? HUH??

  • Dakkar

    I’ll say it again: Travers only signed away the rights to “Mary Poppins” when she was promised creative consultation on the film—not realizing that “consultation” is not the same as “approval”. She submitted her required changes, exercising what she thought was her right to editorial control over the script, and they ashcanned them.

  • chien_clean

    I would have liked to have seen you gossip movie guys talk about the Sound of Music if it was released today. “Too many good feelings, not realistic enough!”.