Goodbye Christopher Robin Review
Director: Simon Curtis.
Before anyone goes to into this, you need to be clear that this isn't a film strictly about the beloved Winnie the Pooh and his companions, but about the author, the playwright and creator, A.A. Milne, his son who inadvertently inspired the lovable bear and all his adventures, and the dysfunctional home life to which they all shared.
It's not as fluffy as one might expect, actually being quite a sad story for the majority for the film. The characters of A.A. Milne and his wife Daphne Milne are not particularly nice people either, though they're not bad either. Just different and possibly closer to the truth. A.A. Milne being one of the rare soldiers to return from the Battle of Somme, the film really does emphasise how his post traumatic stress effects his life and relationships, most notably with their son, Christopher Robin. This is done quite creatively at times and the film as a whole, is brilliantly shot.
We do, of course see the very fabric and foundations of the legendary Winnie the Pooh and his friends, gradually witnessing how the characters, setting and stories take form and earn their names, to then quickly reaching out and raising smiles across the globe, a world which was still very sore after the Great War. It shouldn't be surprising to notice how simple the story begins, as with all great legends, it starts from a small yet brilliant idea with lashings of imagination. And no one's imagination can better that of a child's, especially one like little Christopher Robin.
The casting and performances of all involved are superb. Domhnall as A.A. Milne is totally convincing as the troubled author, Robbie is brilliant as the often stoic, detached and socialite wife. Macdonald is adorable as Christopher Robin's affectionate and caring nanny, but it's Tilston performance as the famous boy of his time that really shines and steals the show. He has a face that just lights up the entire screen when he smiles.
The whole production is complete on point using stunning and Edwardian fittings and settings. It's quite evident an impressive amount of research and resourcing had gone into making this film with costumes, locations, the toys and even the vintage automobiles. Carter Burwell does a decent, enchanting score that suits the picture perfectly. All of this put together to create a perfect setting for the story.
It would appear Curtis' genre of choice would be biographies with this being his third after Woman in Gold about Maria Altmann and My Week with Marilyn about Marilyn Monroe, both being well received by audiences. He brings a marvellous sense of style and artistry, especially during the opening the stages of the film that can be quite dreamy which only adds to the enchanting story.
It's incredibly insightful into the life of the Milne's and tells a near tragic yet heart-warming story of the man and his boy. How something so wonderfully, with the purpose of bringing so much happiness can unfortunately, have some drastic, negative effects on the people behind the scenes.
I don't think I'll ever look at Winnie the Pooh the same way again after watching this and that's not a criticism but a great reminder about the importance of creating happiness for others, but most importantly, for the ones closest to you.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 8
The Extra Bonus Point: 0