Have you heard of Winnie the Pooh? It would be absurd if you haven’t. Goodbye Christopher Robin is a historical drama film about playwright, author and Winnie the Pooh creator, A. A. Milne and his relationship with his son, Christopher Robin.
Returning from the war, A. A. Milne suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and can no longer function properly as a playwright on London’s West End. He moves his family away from the city so that he can think freely and learn to write again. During the process, A. A. Milne becomes inspired by his son to write a children’s book. Although finally happy to be writing again and with good intentions, Goodbye Christopher Robin addresses A. A. Milne unintentionally ruining his son’s childhood.
The casting of Goodbye Christopher Robin is superb. Domhnall Gleeson plays A. A. Milne as a fragile man and writer who lives in the shadow of his creation. His portrayal is strong and you really feel pity for his character’s loneliness yet need for isolation. I’ve always enjoyed Domhnall Gleeson‘s acting and he really shines in this film. Kelly MacDonald plays Olive, the nanny that cares for Christopher Robin who ends up becoming more of a surrogate mother to the boy. She may not be on all the posters, but she has the best line in the film by far. And Margot Robbie plays selfish, spoiled, heartless wife, Daphne. I normally like Margot Robbie, but her portrayal of Daphne was great and made me hate her character.
The stand out performance of the film would be Will Tilston as young Christopher Robin. What I loved about Will’s performance was how emotive his face was. Even when there were no lines, you really feel for Christopher Robin’s character when he is forced to do things that he doesn’t want to do.
The sets, costumes, cinematography are visually elegant, detailed and charming. I particularly loved the clever use of brown tones throughout the film. The most stunning shots would be the woods where A. A. Milne and his son took their walks together, some even picturesque. I believe my favourite part of the film is seen in the trailer when the normal woods appear to become snow as both father and son were using their imagination to conjure magical moments together.
Goodbye Christopher Robin broke my heart and moved me to tears. While the film is based on a true story, I did not know the origin of Winnie the Pooh. I highly recommend a viewing of this film in the cinema while you can. It is a beautiful but sad tale about how Winnie the Pooh came to be, with brilliant acting and a legacy that still sells in every bookstore. I would not be surprised by the number of people wanting to pick up a book of Winnie the Pooh after viewing this film. Just make sure you bring some tissues.