Goodbye Christopher Robin
Out Now On-Demand
Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina) is author AA Milne in this drama about Milne's son Christopher Robin and how his birth would lead to the creation of Winnie the Pooh. From the director of My Week with Marilyn, it co-stars Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad) and Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men).
Along with his mother Daphne (Robbie) and his nanny Olive (Macdonald), 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?
- Simon Curtis('Woman in Gold', 'My Week with Marilyn')
Drama, True Story & Biography, Historical
Rating: PG Low level violence
Director Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) delivers another biography based on reality that never lets facts get in the way of a good story. Set in England between the world wars, writer A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson), wracked by post-WWI trauma, and struggling to keep his marriage to Daphne (Margot Robbie) together, moves his family to the countryside. He writes Winnie The Pooh, which becomes a huge success, inadvertently turning his young son, Christopher Robin, into a worldwide celebrity. Yet, despite the tender warmth of his work, Milne’s relationship with his son remains difficult and distant.
Robbie’s token wife feels underwritten, with little by way of redeeming qualities, but the cast are all solid. In particular, Kelly MacDonald is a stand-out as Olive, Christopher’s sympathetic nurse bearing witness to the pressure on her young charge caused by dysfunctional parents and unwanted fame.
Come 1942, an all grown-up Christopher Robin is set on fighting Hitler’s troops, and it’s the resulting emotional, heart-string tugging tragedy of war that prevents this being a family film, as its adult subject matter (and smattering of ripe language) may prove unsuitable for kids. Nonetheless, it’s a far from bleak tale in the telling, with a large dollop of sweetness and a sincere message of hope. Although, bemoaning lost childhood innocence is all well and good for wealthy first-world families with all the mod-cons, and resenting early fame might prove a tough sell in today’s celebrity-obsessed online culture.
Still, if you’re not averse to well-wrought sentimentality, this solidly acted and directed small-scale family relationship melodrama should have you shedding a tear, or three, and you may never see Pooh in the same innocent light again.
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
The Guardian (UK)
Sydney Morning Herald
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
NewsHub.co.nz (Kate Rodger)