GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Goodbye Christopher Robin is a behind-the-scenes look at the life of the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories. They were written by A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and illustrated by his friend who, according to the film, both survived fighting in WWI, the war to end all wars. They were lucky enough to come home but they were dealing with shell shock and flashbacks. That’s where a lot of the darkness of this film comes from as well as the very distant relationship surrounding the family. The mother, Daphne (Margot Robbie), is very unlikeable; she is only loving to her son when it suits her. Even though the film is about the creation of the most beloved children's book character ever written, Winnie-the-Pooh and all his friends in his 100-acre woods, this is not a kids film. So, please do not be fooled by the PG rating unless you want to talk to small children about the war scenes.
In the movie the whole idea of Winnie and his friends came from a summer of A.A. interacting and playing with his young son Christopher Robin Milne (Alex Lawther), who they called by his nickname Billie Moon. His mother had given him all the stuffed animals that we would see in the stories. After the books came out, his mother pushed her little boy Christopher Robin into the limelight he loathed just to sell more books. The only solace for his young, lonely life was Nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald) who raised him and did her best to protect him from all the fame for as long as she worked in that house. The whole film shows how badly it went for the real Christopher Robin, from the isolation from his parents who were busy with the fame the stories brought to the bullying he received just because he was the boy from the books.
Later in life, the real Christopher would claim that the Winnie-the-Pooh books robbed him of his childhood and he never took a penny of the fortune that came from the project.
There are moments in Goodbye Christopher Robin that will take your breath away like when Christopher and his father are pretending on a sunny day during the summer to be hunting a beastie in the woods in the snow fall. It captures the wonder of play and the fragile father son relationship the two had. Unfortunately, they are just moments and not really sustained through the whole film. This really could have been a great movie with such a bittersweet story, instead I give it a solid B rating because it is still worth seeing on the big screen.
Directed by Simon Curtis
Written By Frank Cottrell Boyce, Simon Vaughan
Selig Rating B
Running Time 1h 47min
Biography / History
Limited Release; Landmark Magnolia, Angelika Plano
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.