Goodbye Christopher Robin

The Joxer Film Review

Directed by Simon Curtis and written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Simon Vaughan,Goodbye Christopher Robin tells the tale of how the wonderful children’s favourite Winnie The Pooh came about..

Starring Domhnall Gleeson,Margot Robbie, Kelly MacDonald and Will Tilston as the young Christopher Robin,the film acts as a gentle reminder of a bygone age in British history.Set in post WW1 England and leading up to WW2 we find A.A. Milne played by Gleeson suffering from “shell shock” [as it was called in those days] from his time at the front in The War To End All Wars and struggling to keep a grip on things whilst trying to write his next stage play.His young son asks him to write a book for him and during a period of the pair of them being alone together in the English countryside,Milne gets the idea for the character Winnie The Pooh and sets about putting the idea to paper.What happens next would change the world and especially the world of young Christopher Robin forever..

This starts as a typical British period drama with a dark and sometimes sinister twist to it.At times the tweeness of it all becomes very saccharine and heavy on the stiff upper lip of a colonial era but then the dark underbelly of fame and fortune takes hold on the family as young Christopher is paraded around like a show pony by his overbearing mother and mixed up father,whilst his nanny,played brilliantly by Kelly Macdonald tries her best to keep the young boys feet on the ground and stop the whole thing from imploding around his ears.Oh,the want of a normal childhood..

Margot Robbie shines as the demanding,domineering mother.A cold,often heartless creature that passes her son off to anyone at the earliest opportunity whilst she swans off galavanting with her upper class chums in London as her husband fights his demons alone with his son in the Sussex countryside..

Gleeson comes across as a mixed up bag of nerves,a man who slowly realises that his own son is the most important thing in his life and tries his best to get to know him as the fame and fortune takes hold and a new war lurks on the horizon.

The star of the show however,is Will Tilston as the young Christopher Robin,who’s childhood becomes a global story almost overnight and is thrust before all and sundry and becomes more isolated in the process.He is a joy to watch on screen and captures the essence of his character with a charm and a warmth that will brighten your day.

It is beautifully filmed with great detail given to the mannerisms of the characters and loads of sunshine through the trees,just like in the books..

Goodbye Christopher Robin just about keeps it’s head above the colonial waters as far as 1920/30’s British period drama nostalgia goes and although everything is all nice and shiny and very charming and la-di-da and at times comes across as an advert for British tourism and very Downtown Abbey,there is a darkness lurking under the surface..

what is the price for fame and fortune..?

well worth a viewing for those that like their period dramas and bears named Pooh of course..

Joxer Film Rating..

A Pooh-sticks throwing theatrical treat

8/10

4 stars

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