MovieChat Forums > Saving Mr. BanksĀ (2013) Discussion > How to teach an 'uppity' woman writer a ...

How to teach an 'uppity' woman writer a lesson


Wait till she's dead, then, make her "crazier, more oblivious, less self-aware" than she was in real life.

https://twitter.com/MarkHarrisNYC/status/411529761169502208


Make her the kind of "b*tch" that anti-feminists will want to punch in the mouth.

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[deleted]

I never said her demands were reasonable. I do question why a strong-willed and unreasonable female protagonist must also be frigid, hermit-like and almost smaller-than-life size, when the real character was a roving, sensual person with a wholly outsized zest for adventure.

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[deleted]

I have gravitated towards much older films (mostly pre-1970) because actresses had better roles back the


I'm not sure I agree, but would you care to speculate on the reason for that? I mean, it's counterintuitive, certainly.

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[deleted]

Have you seen Bette Davis in Hush Hush.......Sweet Charlotte? Man she could go from 0 to 80 in half a second. She should have at least been nominated for an Oscar for that.
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He lifts me clear to the sky, you know he taught me to fly.

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Single women were not housewives, and the heroines of most films were single. there were plenty of career women and adventurous women around before the 60s, though feminists would like us to believe otherwise.

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You're right about women pre-60s but wrong about feminism. Second wave feminism (first wave was women's voting rights with Clara Colby and Susan B. Anthony) got started because of career / adventurous women pre-60s. And it wasn't just the "We Can Do It" gals of WWII although that was a huge factor. This was reflected in lots of films.

What was expected was that an active career woman would retire to become Mrs. Housewife once she married, and this was also reflected in film. 2nd wave feminism was where we said that it didn't have to be that way; you didn't have to get married and if you did you shouldn't have to give up a career of your own.

Well, the city's being built and I'm winning this game. So don't interrupt us with trifles.

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actresses had more personality and mannerisms in roles in older films, now they're a big more bland and samey

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I would say that parts for both men and women were at least marginally better than they are today. My personal theory is that two things changed--first, the repeal of censorship in the 1960's and secondly, advanced technology. Both these changes had the unintended result of making the spectacle of movie going more important than dialogue, acting, and character development. So, while I enjoy the much higher grade of sound and picture quality, and the more subtle acting of today's movies, I can't say that many movies' writing and acting are as good today as they were in the pre-1970 era. I'd encourage people to see The Shop Around the Corner of 1939 as an example of exceptional acting and witty writing of the era.

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love that film

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it sounds like it is but if you look at earlier films, the actresses had personalities and quirks. in recent films the actresses tend to be quite bland and much the same. it's all in the personality and mannerisms

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You are right, women did have better Hollywood film roles decades ago. I think the 70s was a great time for good female roles, and going back much further you'll still find far more interesting parts than are around now.

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[deleted]

I believe the hays code made films more imaginative in capturing an audience and inadvertently allowed women a stronger bearing in films unlike today. You could be a great actress due to talent and not just looks not because you bared it all. It's interesting that you could be a highly respected and acclaimed actor in Hollywood today without being sexualized or required to do a nude scene yet an actress doesn't have the same privilege. Not only would she lose roles but the public would call her a weak submissive prude for not showing the world her privates.

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Hate to tell u cupcake but plenty of Oscar winning actresses today haven't done nude scenes ever heard of Sandra bullack??? Or Jennifer lawrence???? Those are just two examples drew Barrymore is another example shall I continue????

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ingle women were not in the kitchen (unless they were in domestic service). they had jobs, and for that matter so did some married women. for that matter, being in the kitchen needn't stop ypu geing interesting.

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single women were not in the kitchen (unless they were in domestic service). they had jobs, and for that matter so did some married women. for that matter, being in the kitchen needn't stop ypu geing interesting.

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Unfortunately, today they seem to think to make a woman character "strong and independent" she has to be some kind of superwoman warrior or a sarcastic, smirking, snarky bitch. I blame the feminists as much as anyone else. Any vulnerability or flaws in a woman character and they scream "sexism." However, I disagree that there are few good roles for women. Charlize Theron, Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, Nicole Kidman,Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and others have proven otherwise in a number of fine films. Unfortunately, these films often win critical success but not box office success. They are labeled as "chick flicks" or "high brow" movies, which most American guys avoid unless their wives or girlfriends make them go. I don't know about men in other countries.

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I really have to disagree, I feel the 20s-40s were the heyday of women in Hollywood films, by the 70s many were portrayed as sex objects and not much more.

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The feminist sex object concept is a machination, among other ideological crap that hasn't been questioned so far (not much different than religion).
Men create objects (inflatable dolls, fleshlights, etc.) that resemble real humans (women).
It's precisely because we don't see you as objects we want to fvck you and for that reason we also fvck objects that are trying to replicate humans.

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Seriously expect us to believe that, dude? If you didn't see us as objects, you would want to talk with us, not use us. You don't want to fvk your guy-friends, do you?

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I think the 50s and 60s destroyed female characters and actresses. The 50s made them into weak dull side characters while the 60s made them weak sex objects.

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Things were better when you were younger/a child. What a coincidence - I'm sure that has nothing to do with nostalgia.

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I got the impression that Travers was definitely strong and dominating, but a bit unreasonable with her demands.

I agree. I don't know what OP keeps ranting about. She was very strong and clearly talented. Her demands were unreasonable but much of that was by design. She didn't want the film made, the subject was too personal and raw for her.

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[deleted]

That's true. Imagine the book sales after the movie's release. Her feelings were understandable but she just wasn't being very smart about the bigger picture.

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[deleted]

Agreed.

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[deleted]

Yeah, she was shortsighted. Good thing Disney wasn't.

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Except that the film made the book popular by utterly destroying the vision she had for her characters. Mary Poppins was a sharp-toned, vain, plain woman who was often merciless in her scorn for others, including the children in her care. Disney turned her into Julie Andrews, who had nothing in common with Poppins beyond the sharp nose. I can see how Travers would have found this a complete travesty.

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She was only shown as unwavering and stubborn when it came to "Mary Poppins." The demands in the film were the same as in real life. Rather than changing her or teaching her a lesson, I thought it merely showed that Walt Disney saw what she truly was and brought out her zest for life and adventure. She was overly protective of the book because it was connected to the sadness and mixed emotions of her childhood. Emma Thompson did a wonderful job. You may recall at the end of the film they played the tapes of her conversations with Disney and his people. The enthralled audience stayed to listen. There was no deceit.

It really bothers me that some people are always looking for something to offend them. No "true story" is ever 100% accurate. For instance, Tom Hanks' accent was terrible. He sounded more like a Southerner than a Midwesterner. Disney never sounded like that.

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[deleted]

Okay, I have one quibble with your post. Tom Hanks accent is dead on, and if you do not think so, you need to spend more time in Missouri, which, in some locations, may as well be in the "real" south.

I live in western Illinois near Hannibal, MO, and I have spent plenty of time in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, and many rural areas of Missouri. Believe me, you can hear a distinct Southern accent in the speech of many inhabitants.

If you go further south in the state, especially near the Arkansas border, the accent will become much more noticeable.

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I don't know what OP keeps ranting about.


Clearly.

But just because you don't get it doesn't mean the OP is a rant. It's an objection, concisely stated.

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Oh I get it. You made more than one thread ranting about YOUR failure to understand the movie. It sucks going through life seeing sexism lurking in every corner and generally just being bitter, huh? I'm guessing this isn't the first movie that lens has ruined for you. Enjoy!

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Ad hominem arguments don't make you look good, jfitz-11. Nor does your evident ignorance of the meaning of the word "rant."

In fact, many professional film critics have taken note of something your naive posts fail to take into account: that the film is self-serving propaganda for Disney and a hatchet job on Travers. Perhaps if you took greater care to evaluate films not merely on the basis of what their overt dialogue tells you, but holistically, taking into account subtexts and characterizations, you'd have a richer appreciation of what you watch.

But here's your chance to redeem yourself.

What do you think the odds are that Travers actually snuggled up with Mickey?
Why do you suppose her character is made to do so in this film?

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I have no need to redeem myself. I'm not the bitter ranter here that's struggling. Richer appreciation? lol, keep flailing.

What do you think the odds are that Travers actually snuggled up with Mickey?

Your characterization once again betrays your bitter agenda. I have no idea what "the odds" are about anything that happened in real life, and it's irrelevant. This isn't a documentary. But clearly Travers and Disney's relationship was written as such to denigrate and humiliate women. Obviously.

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I have no need to redeem myself.
As a matter of fact, you do need to redeem yourself. Your counterargument thus far has been fallacious - little more than emotional ad hominem posturing.
Richer appreciation? lol, keep flailing.

In other words, you're not up to it. I thought so.
I have no idea what "the odds" are about anything that happened in real life

Obvious evasion. Of course you do. The scene is absurd and condescending. First you asserted quite confidently to another poster that Travers was not portrayed as a sexless or frigid character, now you "have no idea" what the odds are that Travers snuggled up with Mickey. Way to make a 180 degree turn from overconfidence to underconfidence without batting an eyelash. Or are you, in fact... batting?
and it's irrelevant. This isn't a documentary.

Of course it's not. Do you concede that fiction films can be as propagandistic as documentary films? That they have the power to distort, spin, misrepresent, demean? Do you also concede that, lacking any alternative means of visualizing who Travers really was, the majority of moviegoers will, from now on, visualize Travers as the priggish, spinsterish Emma Thompson character?
But clearly Travers and Disney's relationship was written as such to denigrate and humiliate women. Obviously

Nothing is "obvious" in culture. On the contrary, culture exerts its power by rendering things invisible. It's about what we've internalized ("spinster tropes" for example) to the point that we take them for granted. Just as you take it for granted that a feminist critique must necessarily be a bitter one, rather than a forceful, clear-eyed, logical one.

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First, I've characterized your language. Second, I'm not the one here baffled as to the meaning behind scenes so I dismiss them as sexist. Talk about not being up to it.

My assertions dealt with what was, or more specifically wasn't, explored in the movie. That I have no knowledge about what the real woman did or didn't do in real life is not an 180 degree. Awesome comprehension.

Do you also concede that, lacking any alternative means of visualizing who Travers really was, the majority of moviegoers will, from now on, visualize Travers as the priggish, spinsterish Emma Thompson character?

I think intelligent people are capable of differentiating between fact and fiction. Your characterization of Thompson's character is more distortion from your paranoid lens. I found the character difficult, with reason, particular and haunted. The movie was an exploration of this haunting and her ultimate healing. That you walked away from it with some conspiracy to demean and demonize the woman, as well make some sort of statement about her love life, says more about you and your agenda. Your simplistic interpretation of the movie is your loss. (And if the posts on this board about Travers are even half true, this movie made her far more sympathetic than she was irl.)

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I'm not the one here baffled as to the meaning behind scenes


Well, sure you are if you can't even comment on the odds of a grown, sexual woman cuddling up with a gigantic plush toy in her hotel room.

hat I have no knowledge about what the real woman did or didn't do in real life is not an 180 degree


I didn't know anything about her either - initially. But I knew enough to question an absurd characterization, and a wholly self-serving one.

I think intelligent people are capable of differentiating between fact and fiction

Research shows otherwise. The majority of people, even intelligent people, rely more than you seem to realize on Hollywood imagery for their apprehensions of "the way things were."
I found the character difficult, with reason, particular and haunted. The movie was an exploration of this haunting and her ultimate healing


Conveniently for your argument, you've ignored the glaringly obvious trope. She's not merely wounded, she's frozen. And it takes a man to thaw her out.
That you walked away from it with some conspiracy to demean and demonize the woman

Either you're deliberately resurrecting a straw man or you failed to comprehend what I wrote in my previous post. Culture is invisible. No conspiracy is needed for someone to conjure up a trope we Western viewers are all too familiar with.
Your simplistic interpretation

It's your interpretation which is simplistic, not mine. That her character is haunted by the past is a no-brainer. But, along with some posters here and many professional critics, I'm capable of recognizing that there is more to this film than your rendering of obvious plot points.





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Well, sure you are if you can't even comment on the odds of a grown, sexual woman cuddling up with a gigantic plush toy in her hotel room.

More tedious distortions. You asked me to comment on what the real woman, that I know nothing about, might have done. Only a fool would attempt to speak on a woman without knowing anything about her character. As far an adult therapeutically cuddling a stuffed animal when she's feeling childlike vulnerability, there's nothing remotely odd about that. That you felt the need to point out that she's a sexual being once again betrays your agenda.

She's not merely wounded, she's frozen.

Once again, that's your distorted perception. There was nothing to suggest she was frigid because she wasn't placed in any type of setting to demonstrate such a thing. These people were strangers that she didn't want to be working with and didn't have much respect for. She acted professionally. That you perceive this as "frigid," well that's your peculiar hangup. The one person she did establish somewhat of a relationship, she was warm to and even hugged him.

And it takes a man to thaw her out.

That Walt happens to be a man is irrelevant, but again betrays your agenda. I'm sure if it were Wilma, you'd be fine with two people coming together from different POVs and enlightening the other. But since it's a man, it's evil sexism out to demean a woman.

But hey, keep looking for villains lurking in every corner, hiding under every rock, and I've no doubt you'll always find one.

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But hey, keep looking for villains lurking in every corner, hiding under every rock, and I've no doubt you'll always find one

Clumsy dodge. Instead of making generalizing straw man arguments about villains that can only be discerned by the paranoid, how about discussing what I actually wrote and asked you about?

What would it tell you if an otherwise forceful male character desperately cuddled an oversized Mickey Mouse in the middle of the night? Don't give me plot points where semiotics is called for.

That you perceive this as "frigid," well that's your peculiar hangup.


I guess Google is not your friend, even when I did the googling for you. Many alert viewers did recognize the trope. She did more than act professionally. She was more than aloof. She was a prune. I don't know how Emma Thompson's grimaces and closed-in body language could have made that any more clear.
she was warm to and even hugged him.

As incredible as this may seem to you, frigid women can give hugs now and then; they can even thaw... when the "right man" comes along. Why do you pretend you've never encountered that literary and cinematic trope before?
she wasn't placed in any type of setting to demonstrate such a thing.

Except in bed. In the middle of the night.

Come off it, now. Don't pretend you don't recognize the stereotype of scorned woman whose hatred of men leaves her "bitter". Why, you tapped into that hoary cliche in your very first post to me:

It sucks going through life seeing sexism lurking in every corner and generally just being bitter, huh?

That was you not having a rational argument but rather attempting to shut mine down with the sleazy "bitterness" trope.

In other words, your opening gambit was a total fail.

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I don't remember who he was but an American writer once commented on that. He said most writers wanted to sell the movie rights of their books to the movies because it was so profitable. However, most of them also hoped the movie was never made. Considering how personal and memory-evoking her book was to her, I can certainly understand Ms. Travers' reluctance to turn it into a movie musical.

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Well, if you take the money, don't cry in your tea.

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I thought she was just a bit snooty. I was like, "Jeez, woman!"

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My thoughts PL Travers differ from what you saw in the film, in fact I thought after the first viewing that if this is close to the real woman then she was a pistol, this term is meant as a compliment from me. She was opinionated, strong willed and not afraid of the big businessman who seemed to rule over his world, or at least the studio that bore his name. At each subsequent viewing I like her even more and chuckle at Walt's attempts to understand her and then finally figuring out the one common theme they both shared, their fathers imperfections. Overall I disagree that the character as portrayed by Emma Thompson was "crazy, oblivious or less self aware" But in fact a strong woman in an era when that was not necessarily common. Any of the idiosyncrasies of hers were as a result of her childhood and that gives me and many other viewers insight and sympathy towards her.

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First of all, anti-feminists don't have a problem with women being any way they want to or doing what they want, so long as it has nothing to do with the feminist movement. They would only dislike her if she believed she was owed something more for being a woman or felt the need to help other women more than other people in general. Anti-feminists have no beef with anyone who isn't a self-proclaimed feminist.

Secondly, I think the portrayal was intended to contrast the personalities of Walt Disney and herself in more stark a manner.
The fact is that real life is pretty boring, so in film personalities have to be exaggerated (along with deeds) to make an enjoyable movie, when they are based on true stories.

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I'm not going to pretend I knew Travers, but from what I've read about her after seeing this film, she apparently wasn't a terribly nice person anyway. I don't think she had the best reputation, not even with her own family. I thought the movie made her seem more likeable than any of the other stories I've read about her not related to this film.

I enjoyed the film and tried not to over-analyze what was true to the story or what was added because Hollywood.

Your port in my heavy storms harbors the blackest thoughts...

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Precisely. Which is why when I see posts from people on this board, so upset with how she was portrayed, and think that she was so vilified, I have to laugh. If anything, this film made her look INCREDIBLY sympathetic, something that in real life, she was anything but!

Just because she was a good writer, doesn't make her a good or nice person. One has nothing to do with the other.

She never wanted this movie made (Mary Poppins). She hated the end result of it. So much so, that when she was ultimately approached regarding a stage production of Mary Poppins, and she reluctantly agreed, she made it very clear (in writing) that NO ONE from the Disney studios was to be involved. She was slightly happier with the stage production.

And if anyone has any questions regarding my post, just do some research online, and it's out there, in print, plain as day, for all to see. The fact is, she was NOT a nice person.

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LorayneMission, suffice it to say nearly nobody sees Saving Mr. Banks or Emma Thompson's portrayal of Mrs. Travers in the negative light you are attempting to cast.

Emma Thompson's portrayal of the author evoked sympathy from men who've seen it. Carrying disappointments or pain from childhood into adulthood is not limited to women. Many who've suffered might find themselves weeping at certain moments in Saving Mr. Banks.

When "Walt" bares his heart to "Pamela" in the latter's London residence, he helps her let go of some of the fear and pain she had long carried.He certainly does not behave like a man who is being condescending to a woman. He comes across as a fellow creative spirit who had not understood what made Mrs. Travers tick.

You seem laughably unaware that producers being at odds with novelists whose work they are attempting to buy was in the 1950s and 1960s a very common situation, regardless of the author's gender.

You also seem not to have listened to the recording of author Travers at the end of Saving Mr. Banks. If anything, she may have been even more intransigent than portrayed in the movie. And that''s alright. Artists and writers are often stubborn characters. Your attempt to smear an excellent film with a false allegation reflects your limitations, not any failure in the movie.

http://vincentandmorticiasspeakeasy14846.yuku.com/directory

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You DO realize Paul Giamatti's character was an invention in order to make her MORE likable, right?

There are numerous reports over time about how self-centered and un-self aware, she was. Just read a freaking book. It's not her "strong will" that makes her a bitch, it's her deliberate sabotage of the hard work of other artists that makes her a bitch. It's her disagreeable nature from many sources, including the Sherman brothers themselves, witnesses to these events.

Sometimes, a bitch is just a bitch. It's not always a feminist argument.



"We had part of a Slinky, but I straightened it."

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How do you know they made her "more" crazier, oblivious, less self-aware? Did you know her personally to compare? If you read her biography, this is a direct quote:

Travers died in London on 23 April 1996 at the age of 96. According to her grandchildren, Travers "died loving no one and with no one loving her."


That's a direct quote from her bio page. It seems that she really was someone who was extremely hard to get along with. I mean, even her family had issues with her :/

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This ''Uppity Woman'' could have used more than ONE lesson.

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+1. Actually, +1,000.

Miss Jean Louise? Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing.

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They didn't do this because she was a female. They did this because she was an unreasonable, overly picky and neurotic basket case.

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No, she wasn't. That's just the Disney version, contrived to hide the fact that Disney didn't bother to keep his promises to her -- Disney is Uncle Walt, so of course it's going to be all her fault, right?



You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

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