Is Saving Mr. Banks Sexist? Readers Respond
Saving Mrs. Travers
Film critic Amy Nicholson's takedown of Saving Mr. Banks — which she derides as "tricking us into cheering for the corporation over the creator" in its brutal treatment of Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers — had readers foaming at the mouth ("Walt's Revenge," Dec. 13).
Joshwatchintv starts by mimicking Nicholson: " 'She was bi and wrote about underwear!' " He continues, "We should ignore that she actually, literally hated the film, wept openly at the premiere, and that 76 hours of audio recording of the two weeks of these meetings served as the source material for the script — audio in which she actually is patently aggressive.
"Did she need to be? Maybe. But just because she was incredibly progressive for her time doesn't mean she also couldn't be fierce and mean. It's on the tape. It happened. She DID hate the penguins, she DID hate Dick Van Dyke (which he has recounted himself many times) and she DID try to fervently argue against dancing penguins. And the Sherman brothers DID have a hard time selling her on their songs."
Penderghast is equally annoyed. "Oh, yes, turn this delightful film into an anti-feminist tirade," he writes. "Tell me, MS. Nicholson — what if said female author was a cantankerous, disturbed, unreasonable, corrosive and poisonous bitch, as the real Ms. Travers has been characterized by everyone who knew her, including her own family? Does she get a pass just the same because she's a woman? If so, you're the sexist, kiddo." So, Penderghast, we're guessing that all-caps "MS." is meant as a pejorative?
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Gene Maddaus' investigation into sheriff candidate Paul Tanaka's handling of concealed-weapons permits also got people talking last week ("Sheriffs Split on Concealed Weapons," Dec. 13).
"It's sad to see Paul waffling and sliding on the slippery slope he is on," Andre Leonard writes. "As the former undersheriff, Paul was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the sheriff's office. After performing miserably, it seems, the sheriff asked for and received his resignation.
"Paul is now back-pedaling on everything in an attempt to deflect any and all blame for these events. Seems it's easier to just blame the sheriff, who I'm sure at one point believed Paul was competent to address and provide remedies for these very same issues. It would be safe to say that Paul Tanaka may not be a suitable candidate for sheriff."
The Oct. 10 article "A Hotel War in Venice" incorrectly described architect Larry Scarpa as a supporter of a hotel proposed for Abbot Kinney Boulevard. In fact, Scarpa has not taken a position on the project. Also, last week's article about a video game company ("World of Warcraft") misspelled the name of its art director. He is Chris Kasten. We regret both errors.
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