Goodbye Christopher Robin

Goodbye Christopher Robin

(2017)

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).... More

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?Hide

Flicks Review

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.... More

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.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • Everything in this too-too movie feels overfermented, off. Full Review

  • A bracing sourness rescues 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' from sickly sweet banality. Full Review

  • A stiffly depressing portrait of toffee-nosed child abuse. Full Review

  • Fans of Pooh and co get enough to make this an informative nostalgia fix. Full Review

  • [A] bizarrely clenched and infantilised tragedy-twee heritage drama about AA Milne's fraught relationship with his son Christopher Robin. Full Review

  • A witty and touching father-son tale. And at its centre: a startling debut from Will Tilston, whose compelling performance ensures its emotional moments land successfully. Full Review

  • It's the chemistry between Domhnall Gleeson and newcomer Will Tilston, as the awkwardly matched father and son, that makes the movie more than a mélange of inept parenting and Tigger too. Full Review

  • Two tips for all who see the film: Brush up on the books (and also Milne's beloved poem "Vespers") before going, in order to appreciate all the inside references, and pack your hankies. You'll need 'em. Full Review

  • In dramatic terms, the film is complex and involving; in historic terms, it's half-truth. That's better than nothing but never enough. Full Review

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