Goodbye Christopher Robin

Certificate: U

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Will Tilston, Kelly Macdonald

Release date: 2017

3 out of 5

3

The story of how beloved Winnie The Pooh and his friends came to be is the subject of this drama, based on the life of author Alan Milne and his son, Christopher Robin.

However, those expecting a story as warm and fuzzy as Milne’s famous bear will be somewhat surprised, as this is the tale of a family in which dad Alan (Gleeson) has what would now be diagnosed as PTSD following the First World War, and mum Daphne (Robbie, rather too brittle and speaking with an awkward English accent) is aloof following the disappointment that she gave birth to a son rather than a daughter. That son, Christopher (Tilston) – whom they nickname Billy Moon – is most warmly treated by his nanny (Macdonald) until circumstances leave him and his father alone at their countryside home together. The pair finally bond as Christopher shows his father his favourite toys, including a stuffed bear, kangaroo and piglet, but Milne’s subsequent creation of Winnie The Pooh and the attention it brings ultimately drives the father and son apart as Christopher is paraded around for the press.

Despite some whimsical moments, this is too maudlin and grown-up a movie for the young fans of Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, Owl and Rabbit. Older kids, and adults however, will find the sad look behind the curtain of Milne’s life fascinating, and be rewarded with lovely performances from Gleeson, and especially Macdonald and young newcomer Tilston, who is utterly adorable. Worth a look for fans of author biopics like Finding Neverland, Shadowlands and Miss Potter.

 

Parents’ Notes

This movie is aimed at older children and adults – some scenes in which Christopher or his father are upset may disturb younger children.

 

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