Saving Mr. Banks
2014-01-01, 2:03 p.m.
New Year's was back to its usual quiet boredom around these parts. More Hallmark movies were watched, but I'll probably post reviews about those later. I also gave up after three days of trying to upload a zipped folder... which never effing worked, and so I went back to my old "upload fifteen pictures at a time" method. Happily, mom's cable does this incredibly freaking fast compared to my house, so I've been trying to get as much of that done before I leave here as I can. New Hawaii photos start somewhere around here.
Mom wanted me to get my car washed (and to be fair, it needed it) and I wanted to get gas before driving home. Unfortunately, this boiled down to the two of us being in a car together, and you know how that goes. To be fair, she pretty much kept her mouth shut until we got to the Pleasanton car wash, which was a drive-through. But....apparently I should have psychically known how one drives into a car wash (let me point out there weren't exactly instructions posted about it either), and disaster occurred, and screaming occurred, and I got out and made her drive through it instead. While of course there's a guy who also wants in the car wash who's looking at me thinking "stupid fucking girl driver." Yeah, I KNOW, okay? I'm too stupid, I should have magically known how to drive through the drive in car wash, and should have known that I'm supposed to get the left wheel perfectly aligned in the thingie first. I guess that comes along with the almighty penis or something.
I did drive all the way to the supposedly cheaper gas station on the far side of town (note: the one with the car wash, not so much on the cheap), but Mom just kept picking and picking and picking at me to the point where I was all, "You're driving now." She was all, "Can't you take a little constructive criticism?" I was all, "Remember how the mom in Meet The Santas kept giving 'constructive crititism' to Beth and she felt like crap?" (And broke off her engagement and ruined Christmas because she felt too inadequate to do anything.) YEAH. Also, was I asking her to lecture me about how to put my foot on the pedal right, and how to turn right, and how I should be stopping way before the light and blah blah blah blah stop already?! Sigh. Same old shit there.
So we went out for a delicious Thai dinner and then went to go see Saving Mr. Banks. On the one hand, yeah, there's whopping loads of inaccuracies that I read about before seeing the movie (and made the mistake of mentioning to Mom beforehand, then she wanted a list) and that is bothersome. So I was trying to go into the movie thinking of it as actually fictional, much like whenever I watch the amazingly cheesy yet surprisingly entertaining CW show Reign, which is theoretically based on Mary, Queen of Scots. Note theoretically because I doubt there's a human ghost hanging in the walls, Nostradamus is in his 20's, there's a hot half brother hanging around, etc.
But even if you are trying to think of it as fiction, it's hard to ignore that you know that the movie got made with almost every single thing P.L. Travers objected to happening, down to Dick Van Dyke, the color red, and animated penguins. Much as Travers makes a tough antagonist, as does Walt Disney--I think everyone is kind of an antagonist in this one, I don't know who the hell is exactly the hero--it's kind of sad that their grudge match ends in such a trouncing.
Even though Travers is portrayed as incredibly unpleasant to the point where the only reason you care about her for a good chunk of the movie is that Emma Thompson is playing her (either she or Meryl Streep were probably the only people who could pull that off), and her doing things like objecting to the color red* just seems like she's fucking with them after awhile, you do get that she genuinely cares about her characters and doesn't want to see them mucked up. And that totally happened.
* note that one of the Sherman brothers has a red vest on, and that she herself is wearing red lipstick in the scene!
I do think that the main characters seemed like they were pretty well nailed down. Tom Hanks does a lovely job as Walt Disney--genial yet bulldoggish. Much as I generally can't stand Paul Giamatti in anything else, he comes off as so warm and friendly as the driver in this movie I thought that maybe someone had snuck in Stephen Tobolowsky and nobody noticed. And while I concur that the flashback scenes in Australia to Travers's childhood with a dad who's a dreamer who's forced to work a boring day job that he hates do seem like a different movie, he got the man's plight down. He just wants to be daydreaming and having fun...but here he is in the bank suit. The movie tries to claim that Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins is really her dad, but....yeah, the priggish Banks and Travers Goff only have their job in common really. Ah well, it's a good effort to fudge things. It was an entertaining movie, if not exactly factual.
And now I need to wind up this last Holidailies entry--need to eat lunch and then drive home. Wish me luck.