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Goodbye Christopher Robin - Film Review

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by Jonathon Tonkin (subscribe)
I'm a 26 year old male Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Communication) at UniSA in 2014. As well as writing for WN I have also done pieces for the Adelaide 36s and Mawson Lakes Living.
Published November 23rd 2017
A look into the behind the scenes of Winnie the Pooh
I'm just going to put this out there. This is quite a sad movie about Winnie the Pooh. Let that sink in for a moment… Despite the strange idea and concept that I don't think anyone asked for, Goodbye Christopher Robin does turn out to be a decent biopic and a heartfelt reflection into the fame that came with the children's classic story.

Goodbye Christopher Robin, Film Review, Historical Drama, Winnie the Pooh
Images provided by Fox Studios

Goodbye Christopher Robin isn't so much about Winnie the Pooh as it is about all the things that surrounded it. It's about AA Milne and him coping with life after WW1 and his desire to change his life and the world. It's about Christopher Robin Milne and his life growing up and the exploitation that arose from the popularity of Winnie. Winnie the Pooh is still a great book that took the world by storm but as with any zeitgeist, it had lasting effects, both positive and negative, on many people's lives. Goodbye Christopher Robin documents these effects and takes a deeper look into the price paid by this age-old tale.

There are a number of different themes which are explored in Goodbye Christopher Robin. It starts with A.A Milne, played by Domhall Gleeson, returning from war, where he participated in the Battle of Somme. He returns with a severe case of shell-shock and is disillusioned with the world that he fought for. The first half the film deals with Milne's struggles during his post-war life and recovering from the mental scars he carries with him. Running parallel to this is the very early childhood of the titular character Christopher Robin, played by new child actor Will Tilston. The movie trails Christopher Robin, known as Billy Moon by his parents, as he grows up alongside parents who can't quite emotionally attach themselves to him and a nanny who seems to care the most. Times start to take a downturn as Milne's Winne the Pooh begins to take off. Stories that are created from the best moments of A.A Milne and his son's time together quickly become the worst as the whirlwind of popularity that grows from Winnie the Pooh soon strips away Christopher Robin's childhood.

Goodbye Christopher Robin, Film Review, Historical Drama, Winnie the Pooh
Christopher Robin and his father posing 'in character'

As a period drama, Goodbye Christopher Robin is a film which is held up by the quality of its acting. The standout of the piece would have to Kelly Macdonald as Olive, Christopher Robin's nanny. As a native of Glasglow, Scotland she portrays well the sensibility of an early 1900s maid while showing the humanity and emotion to connect and reason with other characters. Domhall Gleeson and Will Tilston, as father and son respectively, also shine as you witness a genuine relationship grow between the two with their screen chemistry continuing to build up as the film goes along. A weak point of the film, however, would be Margot Robbie. As the closest thing the film gets to an antagonist, Robbie's acting is stiff and wooden. Seeming like a caricature of what Robbie thinks period English people are like.

The cinematography of Goodbye Christopher Robin is a postcard for the English countryside. As dark as the film can get at times, the scenery continues to pop and the light shines bright. I welcome this change to an emotional period drama. It's good to see that the sadness that is contained within the lives of the Milnes doesn't spread out to the environment and somehow colour correct everything blue. The scenery is beautiful and adds to the serenity and tenderness of A.A Milne and Billy Moon's relationship, while not letting the mood drop entirely as things get dire.

Goodbye Christopher Robin, Film Review, Historical Drama, Winnie the Pooh
In cinemas everywhere now!

Goodbye Christopher Robin is a film about the creation of Winnie the Pooh, while at the same time it has very little to do with that subject. The film is more about the Milne family, post-World War 1 life, and dealing with the emotional strains fame can bring to a young mind and how that family deals with it. This film is informative as a deep look into the creation of one of the most loved children's characters of all time. A sincere true story that will have you looking at the iconic Winnie the Pooh in a whole new light. A recommendation for fans of the character and anyone who wants to witness the trials of one of England's most honoured writers.
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Why? Learn the story behind one of the most loved children's characters
Where: Cinemas Everywhere
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Your Comment
Great article Jonathon i really enjoyed this movie.
by Stacey Canavan (score: 2|157) 1152 days ago
Although a very interesting back story, the father’s Shell Shock, mother’s uncaring behaviour and total misery of this poor little child make I a film to which I would NOT taken anyone under 13-14 yrs see.
Grown men had tears as well as the ladies for this film. Poor Christopher Robin had a rotten life.
by fluffynut (score: 2|952) 1151 days ago
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