A rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children's author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne (Margot Robbie), and his nanny Olive, Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Although the film doesn't really touch on it, in reality Daphne Milne was mentally troubled and quite badly psychologically troubled by a traumatic childbirth experience. See more »
In the station there was a poster for British Railways. BR did not exist until 1948. CR would have joined up before war ended in 1945. See more »
You know what writing a book against war is like? It's like writing a book against Wednesdays. Wednesdays... are a fact of life, and if you don't like them, you could just stay in bed, but you can't stop them because Wednesdays are coming and if today isn't actually a Wednesday it soon will be.
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I swear that old bear whispered "Boy, welcome home."
Goodbye Christopher Robin certainly tugged at heartstrings, unfolding a somewhat cold narrative, sprinkled with its share of warm joyous moments of family banter and the creation of something we have all adored for the entirety of our lives. Although only rated PG, it was thematically mature in speaking to the audience as much as the characters spoke to themselves. Its power grew strongest when it beckoned the nostalgia of my childhood, telling a story as astonishingly real as I imagined Winnie the Pooh himself to be—whether it was from the books I read to the show I watched (plus the recent animated film), or my late father playing the Kenny Loggins song on guitar to my delight.
The plot may have moved somewhat slowly, but the flow of the film certainly did not. The pace of the scenes moved very fast, keeping strong engagement throughout. I'll say that it helped I am very familiar with the content material (as we all are), which kind of made it funny when you see the "origin" of a toy animal's name comes from, almost feeling contrived because we already know it... but even if this was a fictional tale with an unfamiliar background you couldn't help but be emotionally riveted. It was well acted all the way around, and we have a breakout performance by the adorable young Will Tilston.
As I said before, this film is not completely sunshine and rainbows. It does play on the idea of "in the darkness comes the light," to shine optimism on our main characters who have dealt with internal conflicts and the pains of the world wars, and to also let viewers leave not too distressed over what could have easily been told as a tale of tragedy. I think most of the right buttons were pressed for myself as I watched it, but I can't say that this is totally a children's movie where they will be riveted with joy and delight (not to mention I don't know how much influence Pooh has on children today compared to that of, say, Dora). Director Simon Curtis did this cool thing when Milne's books were being created that sometimes showed moments between young Christopher Robin and his stuffed bear literally jump off the page. Again, anything that could hearken back to my days 25 years ago were great brownie points for me.
There were only three things I did not much care for about this film. The first is the color timing. Skin tones were muddled in a red-pink hue as the entire palette had desaturated any oranges, and the only green that would appear was on the grass in the woods. Even Margot Robbie's irises lost their vivacity with every closeup of her, occurred was quite often (EDIT: after watching the trailer I see my projector may have been uncalibrated, though it still wasn't my favorite timing). The second was the way PTSD was portrayed, although this is only speaking second-hand. The certain triggers, actions, and overall attachment to the story did not really latch onto the same track as the rest of the film, even if it was authentic. Finally, the timeline jumps would be obtrusive when we have to reestablish where we are at and where we are headed. I want to say it only happened twice, but both times threw me out for a good bit.
There are enough quips in this film to provide moments of laughter, and long-drawn sequences where I notice that I was smiling the entire time. However you may be evoked throughout, by the time the credits roll the only time you couldn't hear others' waterworks was when they were overshadowed by your own. Fantastic film, and if you get a chance you owe it to yourself to see it.
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