A stunning biopic and invitation into the life of author A. A. Milne, it really is a bittersweet story, telling multiple plots in the one movie.
‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ follows the struggles of an aspiring writer (Domhnall Gleeson), gripped with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after surviving the events of WWI. We are exposed to Milne’s personal life and his realistic attempts to blend back into normality, while trying to continue doing what he loves. This is then compromised as his own personal battles are forced onto his son (Will Tilston and Alex Lawther). During the creation and success of Winnie the Pooh, we witness a man’s coping mechanisms and how they unknowingly exploit an innocent childhood.
‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ is more than a story based on real events. It’s an awakening to the importance of family, enlightenment to the significant effects trauma can have and the downright truth that sometimes children really need to be just children.
Domhnall Gleeson brings versatility and excellence to the role of Alan Milne. Delivering a successful portrayal of a feeble man stressed to achieve his dreams, despite the impacts of war corroding his attempts. On the contrast, Aussie-grown Margot Robbie, is opportunistic and strong, as his free and hopeful wife, Daphne Milne. Kelly Macdonald also gives a standout portrayal of the Mary Poppins type nanny, Nou.
Despite these wondrous depictions, truly stealing the screen was the performance of Will Tilston, as a young Christopher Robin. His fresh innocence, cute dimples and wide-eyed nature drew you in. Looking exactly like the illustrations of Christopher Robin in the Winnie the Pooh classics, his scenes between fantasy and reality made for clever transitions – easily bringing the children’s story to life right before our eyes.
Filled with purity and captivating honesty, ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ packs enough to pull at every heart string – guaranteeing you won’t leave the cinema with dry eyes.
In a time of sadness, the birth of an imaginative tale about a boy and his bear brought a damaged world hope and happiness. Unfortunately, as we learned, it was at the expense of a son’s childhood, forcing him to grow up quicker than required.
Society today has a vested interest in taking off their rose-tinted glasses to reveal the true lives behind influential creatives – like Lewis Carroll, J.M Barrier and P.L Travers. This isn’t the first movie to shed light on a fractured background and as the growing desire to tell untold stories emerges, it definitely won’t be the last.
Although the franchise of Winnie the Pooh doesn’t need any more sales, the honest behind-the-scenes peek as to how this honey-loving bear was created will make you want to read them all over again.
It’s evident that this story is about to become very popular again – however, for the completely right reasons. Something audiences will be privy to when they see the movie.