Saving Mr Banks was on tv last night and it proved to be an unexpected gem of a movie thanks primarily to the standard of the acting. Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L Travers ( the writer of the Mary Poppins books) were absolutely top notch and at the top of their game!
The film was ostensibly the story of how Disney courted the prickly Travers in order to get her to sign over the film rights of her beloved heroine but it had much more to say about how the ghosts of the past visit the lives of the living, and not always in a positive , healthy way.
I blubbed through the final third of it like a good un.
We all live with our own ghosts from the past. Bereavement, childhood disappointments, parent divorce, sadness, illness and abuse of all kinds , being a child is often fraught with damaging moments that disappear under the banality of life only to resurface at inopportune moments of adulthood.
I once washed a patient's hair when they were on skull traction. It was a tricky proceedure as the patient, a man in his fifties , had broken and dislocated his neck only a week or so before, but as his hair was matted with blood after the callipers had been literally screwed into his skull, the job needed to be done.
Slowly I rinsed the man's scalp with warm soapy water, making sure that spinal alignment was maintained, and as the bloody water flowed away into the bucket on the floor I saw he was crying away large silent tears and those tears just didn't stop.
This emotional 'reaction' to paralysis and trauma was a common event in spinal injuries , especially when a nurse performed intimate cares with patient behind the safety of closed curtains, but my assumption in this case was oh so wrong as I found out after I had wiped away the tears the patient was in no position to wipe away himself.
" My Mother died when I was ten years old " The patient eventually told me in way of an apology " You washing my hair suddenly reminded me of her " .
He cried for an age afterwards, the grief about his disability finally being unleashed by a dreadfully painful and precious childhood memory of a mother lost.