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Goodbye Christopher Robin: Movie Review 4.5

Goodbye Christopher Robin: Movie Review

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I have been a long time Winnie-the-Pooh fan. I grew up with books and cartoons like many others did. I also consider Eeyore as my spirit animal. So when I heard that there was going to be a movie about the author and how the story came to be I was interested. Goodbye Christopher Robin is about A. A. Milne’s journey to discovering Winnie-the-Pooh through the adventures of his son, Christopher Robin and his stuffed animals.

Milne returns from World War I disturbed by the broken world around him. To finally get a breath of fresh air, he moves his family to the country side where he hopes to write his next book. He finds the story within Christopher Robin’s childlike wonder and the teddy bear he carries around the woods.

Domhnall Gleeson portrays A. A. Milne in the film with accuracy to how the author would be during that time. Milne returns from war a broken man and desperate to heal himself from it. Gleeson makes it obvious that Milne has trouble reconnecting to the world around him—whether it is his marriage or his writing. He is understandably stand-offish when it comes to social gatherings. He only feels better when he bonds with his son, Christopher Robin or rather what he is called by his parents, Billy Moon. He becomes encapsulated with Christopher Robin’s naïve childhood games with his beloved stuffed animals. Only then does he find a way to bring happiness back into the world.

The young Will Tilston plays Christopher Robin. Tilston and Gleeson’s chemistry bounces off the screen. Their relationship brings out the best of both characters. Milne is finally able to endure his mental struggles without any pressure and Christopher Robin has someone to share his stories with. Christopher Robin’s innocence and imagination are the core to what becomes Winnie-the-Pooh. However, the publication of the famous story steals away the very childhood Christopher Robin values. Similar to Milne, the world searches for a sense of hope and happiness after a disastrous war. Pooh is that exact source for millions of people.

The film depicts not only the history of the beloved tale, but the tragedy that it brought along with it to the Milne family. The story is no longer just between a father and a son. It’s shared with the world and now they want to have their piece of Christopher Robin. His childhood is no longer his so he is forced to grow up earlier than expected. In many ways, it brings up the question of how much a child should be in a spotlight.

Goodbye Christopher Robin is a beautiful telling of the trials that the writer and his son had to go through to bring Winnie-the-Pooh into the world. Anyone who knows and loves the story will see the hints of how it came to be throughout. Especially when it comes to Milne’s mental illness and how that impacts the characters on the page. There is more I can say about the film, but I would rather people go see it to get the full experience.

Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)
  Director:  Simon Curtis
Studio:  Fox
Genre:  Family, Drama
MPAA:  PG
Release Date:  October 20th, 2017
Author:  Emily Casebolt
Emily Casebolt Born in Albuquerque and raised in San Diego, Emily Casebolt is a graduate of New Mexico State University with degree in Digital Filmmaking. She writes and plots stories any chance she gets from screenplays to novels. On her freetime, she watches hours of Netflix and reads countless books. She aspires to be a television writer for a one hour drama. 

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