Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) Poster

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More than just about Winnie the Pooh
trevorwomble30 September 2017
I watched this wondering if it was going to be a dull, forgettable period piece or a tedious biopic and was very surprised just how good it actually was.

This is a really solid film with good performances and nicely directed. The plot concerns the true story of the life of the young Christopher Robin and the changing relationship he has with his parents in the 1920s.

It blends the mental trauma his father has been living with since his WW1 experience, and Christopher Robin's own traumatic childhood, both of witnessing his own parent's fractious relationship and then the deep unhappiness of having his life turned upside down when his fathers book, Winnie the Pooh, becomes an enormous and unexpected worldwide hit and inadvertently makes a celebrity of Christopher Robin.

This is a film primarily about family relationships and it is extremely well written too. Will Tilston, who plays Christopher Robin at 8 years old, puts in an exceptionally competent and sweet performance that makes you genuinely feel for the character.He finds the only person who actually understands and shares his anguish is his nanny, Olive (Kelly MacDonald). Olive too notices how unhappy Christopher Robin becomes but her pleas fall on deaf ears.

The only real flaw in any of the characterizations is Margot Robbie's turn as Daphne, Christopher Robin's mother. Whilst Domnhall Gleeson's AA Milne at least has some back story to explain why his mentally tortured writer is struggling to shake off his demons and thus oblivious to his son's reluctant celebrity status, Daphne comes across as somebody who is a bit cold and shallow and has no problems with watching her son get exploited to make the book a success. This may of course be what she was really like but the film doesn't dig very deep into her character. However this is a minor quibble in an otherwise well made film.

There are moments of humour in the script and no bad language so I expect this film will appeal to older audiences as well as families. The film is also just about the right length too if you like a good old fashioned biopic/drama. There is also a moral at the heart of this tale about the need to let children have a normal childhood, which is very much applicable even now.
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A wonderful film
studioAT3 October 2017
This a lovely film focusing on the relationship between A.A Milne and his son, Christopher Robin and how together they became sucked into the world of Winnie the Pooh.

With good performances from all this is a wonderful film, all about lost innocence and the importance of family. We are left with the question about whether Milne really did his son too many favours by placing him in a children's book after all.

Special mention must go to Will Tilston, who plays the young Christopher Robin so beautifully.

I hope this film goes onto wider acclaim, because I thought it was marvellous.
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Lessons can be learnt from this film, no matter how much you work, your children want you.
Mark Thomas19 October 2017

Honestly didn't know what to expect when I went to see this film. As its based (loosely) around the creation of the Winnie The Poo stories I thought it was going to be a children's film but.......

The film itself is actually and surprising very good, touching on the family dynamic of the upper classes during the 1930s to 1940s.

Very stand offish parents who seem to care about their social standing rather than their son (Christopher Robin) and how this impacts on all of their lives.

Looking at how one person can force the hand of another, in this case forcing father and son to actually spend time together and bond.

Lessons can be learnt from this film, no matter how much you work, your children want you.

Thoroughly enjoyable film on many levels.

Rating 10 out of 10
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Bitter-sweet, emotional and absolutely delightful
mt-952561 October 2017
The thought of a biopic that charts the touching story of the creation of a children's tale that has meant so much to so many over the years instantly makes me think of Finding Neverland, a sweet film I'm very fond of. In many ways, Goodbye Christopher Robin is very similar – bitter-sweet, heart-warming, full of nostalgia; you could easily swap Johnny Depp for Domhnall Gleeson and Kate Winslet for Margot Robbie (although the characters differ greatly). Although this story behind Winnie the Pooh doesn't contain quite the same childish magic and glee that the story behind Peter Pan gave us, it's still a delightful, emotional story told in a joyful, touching way.

The film as a whole addresses several themes and it's really a bit of a mishmash – it's not just about the creation of the Winnie the Pooh books; it's about the impact of war, the troubles with early 20th century parenting, tricky father-son relationships, the joy and innocence of childhood, and the pain and price of fame. This all works as both a strength and a weakness of the film; in many ways it's wonderful to have such a wealth of topics and the variety keeps things fresh and interesting. On the other hand, some themes aren't fully explored to the extent they could be and it feels as though it's missing something occasionally. It never really focuses on one theme and so does tend to meander around all these topics, telling a vague story; at times it seems to be more a series of scenes with just a semblance of story. Of course this is because the story itself is fairly simple, so it's nice that they enriched the plot with so many themes; it just feels as though it could have benefited from a little more detail.

Nevertheless it's a film that's a joy to watch and brings with it a load of emotions – sniffles and tears seemed to permeate the cinema. This is down to a couple of things; firstly the characters and the story they go through together; but more than that all the references (some obvious, some subtle) to Winnie the Pooh and the rest of Milne's work. From small quotations and images, to creating a little wooden hut to house one of Billy's toys, there are plenty of nods to Winnie the Pooh and these can't fail to bring a nostalgic tear to anyone and awaken fond childhood memories. The childhood especially is heavily romanticised and anyone can identify with Billy Moon in some way, bringing to mind all the happiness and innocence we experienced as children. This is all complimented by beautiful cinematography, making the wilds of Ashdown Forest seem absolutely stunning and really strengthening the magical quality of childhood and its inexhaustible supply of imagination and charm. In fact it's this middle section where the world of Winnie the Pooh is created that is the strongest part.

There aren't a great many characters in this film, making it all seem more intimate, allowing us to grow attached to the characters – though at times this can be challenging. As excellent as Gleeson is, it can be sometimes difficult to understand and empathise with him as his character is so stiff and reserved; still Gleeson gives us a wonderful contrast to this and how time with his son helps him to loosen up and re-discover his 'inner child'. Margot Robbie's Daphne comes across as a missed opportunity. Stunning and beautiful as always, it's hard to imagine Robbie playing a detestable character, but this she manages to do and do well. It's just the writing doesn't really seem to do her credit as we aren't given a real insight into her character. Kelly Macdonald and Will Tilston do shine though. Macdonald's Olive grounds the film as the friendliest, least complex adult character and Tilston exceeds all expectations you would have from a nine year old in their first ever acting role. Sheer innocence and childishness emanates effortlessly from his big eyes and little movements. He really is the heart of the film and fortunately they make the most of him. Sadly every boy has to grow up, but Billy Moon's 18 year old self played by Alex Lawther fills the shoes of his younger counterpart well, giving us the necessary angst and emotion needed.

Perhaps not quite the early Oscar contender I hoped for and it lacks some of the magic that I loved in similar film Finding Neverland. However, this is still a great film, dripping with emotion, nostalgia and a romantic view of childhood; exploring a wealth of themes and with some excellent performances (particularly from the titular Christopher Robin) and affectionate references to a childhood classic, Goodbye Christopher Robin is a lovely, bittersweet film for the whole family. Bring the tissues – this one's going to move you.
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Goodbye Christopher Robin: Grown Men Will Cry!
brankovranjkovic1 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Based on fact, a biography set in 3 distinct time periods, World War1 jumps to the 1930's and then World War2.

The beginning examines the horrors of war, A. A. Milne fought in World War 1, when returning home we see how he's traumatised and still suffering from shell-shock, demonstrated by disturbing flashbacks triggered when a car backfires or a balloon bursting.

The film follows the origin of the classic book 'Winnie the Pooh', how it was created, how it was inspired by the author's son and toys. Portrays how we might imagine middle class England was at that time. There is an obviously frosty, distant relationship between AA Milne and his son, you'll probably be surprised how gloomy the family's home-life really was.

A.A Milne was already a successful journalist and playwright, but his war experiences motivates him to write an anti-war book, he moves the family to the country to concentrate on this. They take on a nanny (Olive) who builds a close relationship with their son.

Unfortunately the author suffers with writers block and this results in his wife selfishly moving back to London until he can get his head in order and write again. The wife is a very un-likable irritating character, there was nothing redeeming about her personality!

With the wife away the film becomes so much more interesting when the father starts to pay attention to his son and a friendship develops, this unlocks A. A. Milne's imagination. The book is written at a time when the population needed uplifting, and the book does that splendidly. The book and his son quickly become a worldwide success, although the sudden fame has a negative effect.

The older version of the son is sent to boarding school and is constantly bullied until the students are conscripted to World War2. Unfortunately the son fails the army physical / medical although his burning ambition is to go to war, so he asks his father to pull strings to get him in and he does. We see the son in military uniform leaving on the train but soon a telegram 'missing in action-presumed dead' is unfolded.

This is where many of the audience pulled out their tissues.

I would not recommend this film for children, the very emotional WW2 scenes makes this probably not suitable for a young audience.
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Touching story reminding us what life is all about...
txbecks24 October 2017
Goodbye Christopher Robin touched me personally and helped me to remember what life is really about. It touches on the trauma that can affect those closest to us. It shows how hard and long those times can affect our lives and those around us. The casting and acting was spot on for me. I could relate to the characters and could relate to their situation.

It reminded me in some ways of "Finding Mr Banks", but touched me more deeply. There are movies you go to watch to escape the real world. This was a movie that helped me to remember what is important in this world and feel better for it.

It was touching, heart breaking and had times that all parents can relate to. In the end it showed me how important it is to spend time with your children.

It is a movie I will be adding to my collection.
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Don't say goodbye to this film
TheLittleSongbird2 October 2017
A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories captivated me as a child and they are still wonderful stories through young adult eyes. The stories epitomise childhood innocence, the atmosphere is enough to enchant everybody regardless of gender and age and the characters are some of the most charming in children's literature (Disney's treatment of them as some of their most famous ever creations is every bit as special).

Hearing that there was a biographical drama based on the man, his life and his family, the desire to see 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' was overwhelming. Was not disappointed at all after seeing it today, it was a lovely biographical drama even with Milne's life not being what one would expect reading the stories or being familiar with the timeless characters, his dark and troubled personal life being the anti-thesis of the innocent and charming world created in his Winnie the Pooh stories. That was actually what was so fascinating about 'Goodbye Christopher Robin'.

'Goodbye Christopher Robin' in biographical terms fascinates and illuminates. But the film fares even better judging it as a film on its own merits, on this front it is a lovely very good film that is neither the potentially cutesy cookie-cutter film one might think it would be reading the title or the overly dark and joyless one that one would fear upon looking up what the film is about. It's more layered than either.

The film looks great for starters. The beautiful cinematography, with its vibrant hues, really brings the film to life in a way that reminds one of how a story book would. The settings and costumes are both sumptuous and vivid, making the viewer feel like they've been transported in time to that period and being part of it. Carter Burwell's string-heavy score is luscious and stirring in its elegance. Both combined creates a really nostalgic quality that could have been at odds at the dark portrayal of Milne's and his family's personal life but it's an effective contrast.

When it comes to the writing, 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' is very intelligently and thoughtfully written and, considering that it has a subject matter where it is so easy to go heavy-handed and be too much of one tone, has evidence of sensitivity and nuance with touches of bitter irony in how such a happy childhood depicted in the stories was very much a miserable one in real life. The nods and references to Milne's work are clever and affectionate, enough to make one's eyes well up with aching nostalgia. The story is cohesive and never feels like it's jumping around too much or lacking momentum, it also has a lot of heart and affecting poignancy in how Christopher tries to get his father to loosen up and the interaction with his nanny (along with Christopher the warmest and most sympathetic character in 'Goodbye Christopher Robin').

Direction lets the story to breathe but doesn't fail in giving it momentum. The performances are near-uniformly strong. The central character in fact is Christopher Robin himself, and while Alex Lawther does very well with teenage Christopher the star here is Will Tilston, who gives a touching and far more layered performance than one would think he was capable of. Instead of being overly-cute, he evokes tears of both playful joy and vulnerable sadness and the film particularly comes alive with the father/son relationship.

As Milne, Domhnall Gleeson is excellent, whether one feels empathy for him is another story but he portrays Milne with an appropriately straight back and reserve and he is every inch the troubled figure. The levity of the story comes in the nanny character played by Kelly McDonald, the warmth and charm of her portrayal is much needed and her common sense invaluable.

By all means, 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' is not without short-comings. The biggest one being the one-dimensional and without-redeeming-qualities character writing for Daphne which consequently makes Margot Robbie portray her far too firmly and coldly, even in the subject matter these approaches didn't gel.

Short-coming number two is not buying and being put off somewhat by Milne and Daphne's far too casual, uncaring even, attitude for Christopher's welfare. This is something that makes one endear to them even less.

Overall, lovely, moving film. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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You'll pull the book out of the attic after seeing this lovely biopic.
jdesando2 November 2017
Not having any serious connection with Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and the rest of the children's story, Winnie the Pooh, I am perhaps even more ready than its devotees to admire Goodbye Christopher Robin. It's a biopic of great sensitivity that mixes nostalgia for the most popular children's book ever with the harshness of two world wars and the practice of parents leaving their children with nannies in the first quarter of the 20th century.

I now wish I had a stronger relationship with those little critters and that lovable boy, for I could have used the distraction from the aftermath of WWII just as Pooh was able to do for the world after the war to end all wars. Author A.A. Milne (a stoic and yet lovable Domhnall Gleeson) was traumatized by his service in the war, and moved slowly to erase that PTSD while creating Pooh. The film spends too much time on his trauma, but it does help fill out Milne's character.

Yet, this is the story of Billy Moon (a remarkably-dimpled, serene Will Tilston), as Christopher Robin is called in real life, who supplies his dad with inspirations for the book. The film centers on remote dad's growing love for the boy and the book while remote mom goes off to London to do who knows what. The film carefully shows how children might be lucky to have a nanny like Neu (Kelly Macdonald) to give them love and some creative inspiration along the way.

Goodbye Christopher Robin is a successful biopic because it doesn't spare the story of anti-helicopter parents who endanger the mental health of their children with their absences. As fame overtakes the Milne family, the film still relays the sense of wonderment Billy had as a child immersed in love of his forest, animals, and imagination.

The biopic may be counter to what we expected of a world-renowned author of a book for children. That he had difficulty initially interacting with his own child is unusual, but the film is successful showing how he warms up and creates a masterpiece as well.

Though not always a feel good movie, Goodbye Christopher Robin makes you wish he'd never go away. It looks like he never will.
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I swear that old bear whispered "Boy, welcome home."
Brandon Robinson18 October 2017
Goodbye Christopher Robin certainly tugged at heartstrings, unfolding a somewhat cold narrative, sprinkled with its share of warm joyous moments of family banter and the creation of something we have all adored for the entirety of our lives. Although only rated PG, it was thematically mature in speaking to the audience as much as the characters spoke to themselves. Its power grew strongest when it beckoned the nostalgia of my childhood, telling a story as astonishingly real as I imagined Winnie the Pooh himself to be—whether it was from the books I read to the show I watched (plus the recent animated film), or my late father playing the Kenny Loggins song on guitar to my delight.

The plot may have moved somewhat slowly, but the flow of the film certainly did not. The pace of the scenes moved very fast, keeping strong engagement throughout. I'll say that it helped I am very familiar with the content material (as we all are), which kind of made it funny when you see the "origin" of a toy animal's name comes from, almost feeling contrived because we already know it... but even if this was a fictional tale with an unfamiliar background you couldn't help but be emotionally riveted. It was well acted all the way around, and we have a breakout performance by the adorable young Will Tilston.

As I said before, this film is not completely sunshine and rainbows. It does play on the idea of "in the darkness comes the light," to shine optimism on our main characters who have dealt with internal conflicts and the pains of the world wars, and to also let viewers leave not too distressed over what could have easily been told as a tale of tragedy. I think most of the right buttons were pressed for myself as I watched it, but I can't say that this is totally a children's movie where they will be riveted with joy and delight (not to mention I don't know how much influence Pooh has on children today compared to that of, say, Dora). Director Simon Curtis did this cool thing when Milne's books were being created that sometimes showed moments between young Christopher Robin and his stuffed bear literally jump off the page. Again, anything that could hearken back to my days 25 years ago were great brownie points for me.

There were only three things I did not much care for about this film. The first is the color timing. Skin tones were muddled in a red-pink hue as the entire palette had desaturated any oranges, and the only green that would appear was on the grass in the woods. Even Margot Robbie's irises lost their vivacity with every closeup of her, occurred was quite often (EDIT: after watching the trailer I see my projector may have been uncalibrated, though it still wasn't my favorite timing). The second was the way PTSD was portrayed, although this is only speaking second-hand. The certain triggers, actions, and overall attachment to the story did not really latch onto the same track as the rest of the film, even if it was authentic. Finally, the timeline jumps would be obtrusive when we have to reestablish where we are at and where we are headed. I want to say it only happened twice, but both times threw me out for a good bit.

There are enough quips in this film to provide moments of laughter, and long-drawn sequences where I notice that I was smiling the entire time. However you may be evoked throughout, by the time the credits roll the only time you couldn't hear others' waterworks was when they were overshadowed by your own. Fantastic film, and if you get a chance you owe it to yourself to see it.
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Best Film of My Life!
healingfromtheheart6 November 2017
My favorite film of my lifetime...All Quiet on the Western Front...Chariots of Fire...English Patient and Now: Goodbye Christopher Robin! Simply the best of many great films...It was a story about universal stories and done on so many levels...the difference of a child's imaginary world and the real world in which the child lives...a coming of age overcoming of a war wounded mind...a father film...a mother film....the gift of a caretaker to a child and then to herself... an actress mom, center stage, on her every stage, the father writer who did not write..."I'm thinking"....and then he wrote about Christopher Robin...and Pooh... all rolled into one...tears and laughter and a realizing of a change in self as profound as when I watched other greats...thanks!
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it's not my fault
David Ferguson19 October 2017
Greetings again from the darkness. Are you ready for a family- oriented movie based on the origins of the universally beloved children's character "Winnie the Pooh"? Well, despite the PG rating, this is not one for the kids – no matter how much they adore the cuddly, honey-loving bear. When you realize it was directed by Simon Curtis (WOMAN IN GOLD) and co-written by Frank Cottrell Boyce (MILLIONS), filmmakers known for their crowd-pleasing projects, the final version could be considered borderline deceitful.

It's 1941 when we first see A.A. Milne and wife Daphne receiving an unwanted telegram whilst tending the English garden. We then flashback to 1916 when Mr. Milne was serving on the front lines of WWI, and returned with a severe case of shell-shock (described as PTSD today). His episodes can be set off by bees, balloons, and bulbs. This affliction also has him in a deep state of writer's block accompanied by a need to write an important anti-war manuscript.

Domnhall Gleeson plays the famous writer and Margot Robbie his wife. The 1920 birth of their son Christopher Robin makes it clear that lousy parenting exists in every era. Neither father nor mother have much use for their offspring, so they enlist the help of a Nanny Olive, played by Kelly Macdonald. Does it sound like a wonderful family flick so far? Well things do pick up when C.R. is shown as an 8 year old played by screen wonder Will Tilston. His bright eyes and dimples so deep we wonder if they are CGI, bring joy to the viewers, even if the parents remain icy and self-centered.

The film's middle segment allows father and son to bond on long walks through the 100 acre wood, and we are witness to how the toys become the familiar icons of children's stories: Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, and of course, Tigger. The picturesque English countryside makes a beautiful setting for the adorable and energetic C.R., known at home as Billy Moon (nicknames abound in the Milne household).

Unfortunately, the father-son segment leads to even more atrocious parenting. After the book is first published in 1926, young Christopher Robin becomes little more than a marketing piece for the family business. The walks in the woods are replaced by radio interviews and publicity appearances. No matter how Nou (the nickname for Nanny Olive) tries to bring normalcy to the boy's life, the parents remain oblivious to what is happening.

Alex Lawther appears as the 18 year old Christopher Robin. He's committed to serving his duty in WWII after surviving boarding school bullying and hazing. Equally important to him is escaping the shadow of the celebrity childhood, and finding his own identity – one that is not associated globally with a fuzzy bear. The innocence of childhood stolen by selfish parents is painful to watch, whether 90 years ago with the Milne's, or today with any number of examples.

The 3 reasons to watch this film are: the photography is beautiful (cinematographer Ben Smithard), those other-worldly dimples of a smiling boy, and the near-guarantee that you will feel better about yourself as a parent (if not, you need immediate counseling, and so does your kid). In this case, being a well-made movie is not enough. The film is a bleak downer with the few exceptions teasing us with the infamous whimsy of the classic stories. Sometimes pulling the curtain back reveals a side of human nature akin to war itself. We are left with the impression that the audience and readers are to blame – being held accountable – for the misery suffered by the real Christopher Robin. Crowd-pleaser? More like the blame game.
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Watch it and forget the facts
michaeldale-9603924 January 2018
There are any number of reasons to watch this film: performances, cinematography, direction, nostalgia, humour, human relationships, whimsy, sorrow etc., but to get to the heart of this wonderful movie you have to ignore the fact that historically it is 80% factually incorrect. Script writer should have read around his subject to a greater degree, there is a dramatic enough story in the truth that should not have warranted a fantasy approach.
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Unevenly balances adult issues with childhood wonder
TwistedMango4 October 2017
The story of AA Milne (played here by Domnhall Gleeson) finding his own self-worth and connection with his son through 'Winnie The Pooh,' with a greater focus on the stories themselves, could have made for a delightful one-hour Sunday special. While "Goodbye Christopher Robin" includes these elements, the attempts to transpose them into a wider, meaningful narrative sometimes fall flat.

The opening jumps between three different eras in as many minutes, and the transitions are jarring and abrupt in a way that needlessly disorientates the viewer. Once the film has settled down in East Sussex, some issues that plague its running time develop.

It can be hard to care for the problems of someone for whom money is no issue and has Margot Robbie for a wife. The writers have solved this through showing Milne suffering from PTSD after serving at the Somme, though it's difficult to say how much it relates to the historical figure himself.

Milne was more the overt patriot that the film portrays, serving in the WWII Home Guard (not included in "Goodbye Christopher Robin") as well as the Western Front. He also managed to get his son into war even after he failed a medical, which is included in the film but doesn't fully delve into Milne's volte-face on an anti-war philosophy portrayed.

This impact of war on Milne plays a key role in the film, but it never quite fits smoothly into place. However, it is interesting to follow Milne's arc as he is tempted into the woods and childhood imagination by his son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston), and the best parts of the film come as he and his son play in the forests of Hartfield.

Something the film captures well is the origin of Winnie The Pooh in British quaintness, a far cry from the sugar-soaped creatures that exist today. Whatever "Goodbye Christopher Robin" is, it has avoided the misguided catastrophe of the upcoming "Peter Rabbit" film.

A highlight of the film is the relationship between Christopher Robin and his nanny (Kelly Macdonald). Macdonald brings both a warmth and a quiet sadness to the role, and while Will Tilston is as vaguely annoying as most child actors it's possible to believe in a real connection with the pair.

Margot's Robbie's character doesn't work. She's a manipulative, self-interested harpy, more interested in the fame of her son than his development as a child. I'm sure some people with a familiarity with Daphne Milne may take an affront at this portrayal. From a story perspective, her early behaviour can be assigned to post-natal depression, but in later scenes, she transforms also into a thinly developed antagonist to get knocked down by moralising characters.

East Sussex is a beautiful county, adoringly shot in "Goodbye Christopher Robin." While these woods are so important, and director Simon Curtis does try a few things to add variety, unfortunately, there does get to be a level of visual repetitiveness to all the trees and pooh sticks.

A sentimental event in the final act, referenced in the opening scenes, feels manipulative as the narrative is suddenly reversed. Yet in spite of flaws, "Goodbye Christopher Robin" can fleetingly capture the wonder of Winnie The Pooh and has genuinely heartfelt moments. It's also probably one more for the adults than the kids, which is unfortunate considering its subject matter. Although there is a clear sense of conclusion to the film, there is also talk of a sequel.
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incredible true story and lesson for us all
petercross-991998 October 2017
the film a true story of the background to the writings of a milne books, winnie the pooh and a lesson in life to us all is an incredible movie you are'nt expecting, a little slow in the middle then a powerful revealing of where the director wants to get you , tearjerking and heart moving but a great end as you sit in despair at the cost of a brilliant book revealed to the world, do the things you love with the people you love is one clear lesson go watch this movie , i rest my first ever writing of anything on it. 10 outa 10
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Little Boy Reels At The Foot Of The Bed
writers_reign30 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I am arguably one of a handful of people who have never read a single word of A.A. Milne. I've been an avid reader all my life yet somehow Milne eluded me. I recall a family gathering when I would have been around ten and noticing a cousin with a copy of 'The House At Pooh Corner'. I assumed it was a one-off ephemeral as a butterfly ... I was, hover, conversant with lines like 'if I open my fingers a little bit more I can see nanny's dressing-gown on the door ...' and 'They're changing guards at Buckingham Palace ...' but made absolutely no connection with Winnie The Pooh. So I came to Goodbye Christopher Robin in more or less ignorance. My first impression was of lyrical photography, next it struck me as Merchant/Ivory lite and I think both impressions hold up. As a study of a dysfunctional family it was also up to snuff; traumatised father, hedonistic bitch of a mother, small boy in the middle. It was all rather well done and I did learn that Milne senior had been a successful journalist and playwright long before, like Algy, he met a bear.
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Had potential to be great
Kingslaay2 December 2017
Goodbye Christopher Robin is in many ways a missed opportunity. It appears that if this film was rewritten and redirected it could have been an exceptional film. It had the elements of a great gripping story and an origin story to one of the most beloved children's stories of all time. This film presented a unique perspective, background and aftermath surround Winnie the Pooh. Too much attention was placed on Christopher's childhood and development of the story and far less on its aftermath which based on the title seemed to be the point of the story. More time could have been devoted to Christopher's adolescence and Christopher himself rather than the creative process and post war trauma faced by A A Milne. The film takes its time in building itself up only to rush towards its climax. It was passable but not exceptional and it very well could have been.
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Authentic Enough, Sweet Portrayal of a family's true story
svhot16 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Goodbye Christopher Robin" conveys the real life story of author A A Milne ( played by D. Gleeson ) and his son Christopher Robin Milne ( played by Will Tilston ), and how the junior Milne's toys inspired his father to create the iconic children's character "Winnie the Pooh ".

The movie shows the Milne family's life after A A Milne returned home post World War 1. A A Milne develops post-war trauma and this creates a lot of problems for his family members ; it mostly damages his relationship with his wife. However, Milne does begin to heal, greatly influenced by the "playing time" he spends with his son. The movie impressively displays the creation of Winnie the Pooh, which was developed by Milne through inspiration from his son Christopher's toys.

The performances are very impressive. D. Gleeson gives a restrained but effective performance as the famous author A A Milne. Will Tilston, who plays Milne's son Christopher Robin, gives a very fine and sweet performance ; he portrays the innocence and angst of his character with equal ease, which is a very rare feat for a young child-actor. Kelly McDonald shines in her role as Christopher's nanny.

The movie explores a number of themes - post war trauma, troubled relationships, the innocence of childhood and its inevitable destruction, the effects of fame and a busy life. "Goodbye Christopher Robin" succeeds in tackling and portraying most of these themes. However, the movie's best moments are when Milne (Gleeson) and Christopher (Tilston) play with each other, and in this process, Milne heals and also develops the legendary character of Winnie the Pooh. The direction is good. I would love to become a story-screenplay writer for movies because intriguing stories keep developing in my mind all the time (Yes, I really mean it). Employers / Movie Studios can contact me at [email protected]
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Beautifully nuanced, but hauntingly sad tale behind the children's classics
manders_steve28 January 2018
I was brought up on Winnie the Pooh and got almost as much enjoyment from these stories and poems when reading them to our children as I got from my parents efforts for me. I also recall interviews and stories with Christopher Robin Milne, the Devon bookshop proprietor who never got over the publicity and notoriety of having one of the most public early childhoods in recent history.

I was expecting a gentle tale of how it all came about, with some bucolic English countryside scenes of woods and rivers. It does provide an explanation of how it all came about; there are loving scenes of English countryside where it's nearly always summery late afternoon, but it does so much more. It is so much more nuanced and tells the stories from most of the main characters' differing and conflicting backgrounds and perceptions. In so doing, the depth and subtlety far exceed what many might have expected from the film's initial premise. Just how truthful it is to real life I don't know, but frankly the film didn't make me want to find out. I was more than satisfied with what was presented.

Both Will Tilston as Christopher Robin aged 8 and Alex Lawther by the time he's 18 are excellent in their roles. The young CR simply fizzes with the enthusiasm and ups and downs of young childhood. Alex Lawther gives a measured and insightful performance, and his discussions with his father underline the complexity of the tale. I felt all the other main characters delivered well: Domhnall Gleeson is a fine Alan Milne, Margot Robbie as wife Daphne is convincing in her self centred aloofness, and Kelly Macdonald is just wonderful as the Milne family nanny.

It's hard to know how anyone unfamiliar with the AA Milne children's books would find this film, as it probably assumes a fair bit of this background knowledge. But I found it surprisingly engaging, with a depth and subtlety I wasn't expecting.

But I doubt it is particularly suitable for younger children, despite the PG (Parental Guidance) rating here in Australia.
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Family friendly and beautiful cinematography
Abfabbb27 January 2018
This is a lovely film---as I tire so easily from car chases, gratuitous F bombs and gunfights. It focuses on family dynamics, love/dysfunction and the fleeting years of childhood that can never return. I wallowed in the scenery.
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another tissue of lies
mikewrites-428-7530039 October 2017
Yet again we get a film based on a 'true story' that disguises unpalatable truths with sugar-coated un-truths. Just what is it with a filmmaker's arrogance that makes them so willingly distort a true story beyond all recognition. Admittedly I knew little about Milne, so as is my habit, I googled some facts about the real-life Milne and Christopher Robin and a very different picture emerged. The same thing happened recently with 'Trumbo'--another film that so distorted the facts (which is admittedly a filmmakers/'artists' licence) that any real sense of meaning is lost. This film paints Milne as a long suffering post traumatic stress victim with a shrewish hard-faced wife and invents a happy ending that is a lie--IT NEVER HAPPENED. Avoid. 2 stars for'some' decent acting and cinematography
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" . . . lost, or stolen, or strayed: . . . "
Edgar Allan Pooh18 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
" . . . James James Morrison's Mother seems to have been mislaid," GOODBYE, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN documents. When they were passing out Maternal Instincts, Daphne Milne was given a lump of coal for a heart. As most English-speaking Three-Year-Olds have known for almost a century, Daphne was a Real Life Cruella DeVille when it came to the toddler set. CHRISTOPHER ROBIN fleshes out exactly how World War Two--with its Half-Extermination of the Jews--was mostly Daphne's fault, as her proclivity for wandering transformed Europe's leading Anti-Nazi voice A.A. Milne into functioning as a virtual single dad to their young son CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, preventing his Prescription for Peace from being published prior to the Rise of Hitler. Even when Daphne Milne returned to the household (after it had grown prosperous without her incessant belly-aching)--not unlike a dog circling back to its vomit--her stuff continued to hit the fans of Chaos like great big globs of greasy grimy gopher guts, this film faithfully depicts.
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a beautifully told story of sadness behind Winnie the Pooh
CineMuseFilms29 November 2017
Box-office pressure compels filmmakers to make one film appeal to multiple markets. If you can plausibly mix a war story, a domestic drama and a coming-of-age tale into a bio-pic that appeals to all age groups you are on a winner. Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) is certainly a winner.

All of these genre strands reveal a different aspect of the same story: that the author of the world's most recognised children's storybook character Winnie the Pooh had exploited his son to achieve literary fame. Alan Alexander Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) returned deeply traumatised after the 'war to end all wars', hoping to resume his fashionable career as a London playwright. His pretentious wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) wanted a daughter and never bonded with their son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston). They retreat to the countryside but Daphne quickly tires of rural life, leaving her husband and son for the London social scene. When his beloved nanny Olive (Kelly McDonald) must spend time with her sick mother, Christopher finds a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to know his father. It is during this short period that the 'Winnie the Pooh' legend was born.

The film has a narrative structure that allows the story to move between genre strands and across several decades. The effect of these shifts is to tell the story from Christopher's point of view both as a child and later as a young man after World War II. Through his childhood recollections, the adult Christopher shares his loneliness and deep resentment over the endless interviews and public adoration for the 'boy with the bear from the 100 Acre Wood'. The story reveals that instead of little Christopher Robin being the luckiest boy in the world he was the saddest.

This is a beautifully told story which unfolds gently to leave the Pooh mythology as undisturbed as possible. The filming is lusciously saturated with many scenes having a painterly picture-book quality evocative of childhood nostalgia. Casting is superb, with the impossibly adorable dimpled Will Tilston stealing every scene in which he appears. Domhnall Gleeson is excellent as the war- damaged author who turned to writing fantasy to ease the trauma, and Margot Robbie is perfect as the emotionally vacuous parent for whom mothering was an embarrassing inconvenience. The dialogue-rich script is peppered with whimsy, intelligence, and the starchy middle-class manners of Britain in the war years.

With top-shelf production values it is hard to fault this film, except of course if you are a historian. Several have questioned the facts upon which the story is based and they always will. Or perhaps you are a Milne fan hoping to hear his prose and feel cheated by the fleeting references to the characters and settings of his work. However, judged on its cinematic merits, the delightful Goodbye Christopher Robin is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining films of the year.
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A Good Film that could have been better..
adonis98-743-18650319 January 2018
A behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne. Goodbye Christopher Robin packs a standing perfomance from little Will Tilston and Kelly Macdonald as Christopher Robin and the Nanny and their entire relationship ark was excellent and the high point of the film. Now the parents? Domnhall Gleeson and Margot Robbie? they did a good job in terms of perfomances but it was hard for me to follow their characters and find them likables since some of their decisions or the way that they treated Billy was kinda meh and not parenting alike in general. Overall this is a good film with a good message to tell but it could have been better. (6.5/10)
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'After the war there was so much sadness... that hardly anyone could remember what happiness was like'
gradyharp22 March 2018
The true story of A.A. Milne's writing of the infamous WINNIE THE POOH stories has been successfully adapted for the screen by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Simon Vaughan. Simon Curtis directs a capable cast in a film that is both nostalgic and reflectively disturbing - as much a psychodrama as a biography. Interestingly enough, one of the primary memories the film touches is the devastatng effect war has on both soldiers and the general populace.

First published in 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh brought hope and comfort to England after the First World War and became one of the best-loved children's books of all time. The film version of the life of A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson), his son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston then Alex Lawther), his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) and the nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald) is a rare glimpse into the relationship between father and son and the impact of Milne's experience as a soldier in WW I. After a series of PTSD episodes Milne convinces his shrewish wife to move to the country for solace. Daphne becomes pregnant, detests ,the agony of childbirth, and enters her own shallow world of luxury while the recovering Milne ultimately writes children's stories based on his son Christopher Robin and his toys. Along with his mother Daphne and his nanny Olive, 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 the instant celebrity erodes Christopher's relationship to his parents, distances Milne, and feeds the need for society acceptance of Daphne.

The cast is strong, the flashbacks of the war are gruesome making Christopher's decision to join the military when WW II comes round painful to watch and the film about the most popular children's stories ever written ends with a twinge of sadness. Still
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A fantastic and truly touching story.
Kirsty251519 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I wasn't overly sure what i was going to get when i sat down to watch this film. I'm a little sceptical when it comes to biopics, they can be very hit and miss but this was something else.

The film is about the life of A.A Milne. It shows how Winnie the Pooh came to be but it doesn't become solely about that. The film mainly focuses on the changing relationship between Milne and his son Christopher Robin. How the closeness between a father and son helps Milne overcome his PTSD and how what started as an imaginary world built by a father and son to help them bond turns in to one of the biggest selling and most loved children's stories of all time. It gave an idea in to what life of a middle class family may have been like in the early 20th Centaury, how the "stiff upper lip" approach was taken by parents and how children's relationships with their Nannies were so important. As for the creation of Winnie the Pooh, the film shows just how the characters were created and how the idea's for them were developed, not just by Milne, but also by the real Christopher Robin, Mrs Milne and the family Nannie. It shows the price that the creation of Winnie the Pooh had on the family and on the childhood of Christopher Robin and how that followed him in to his young adult life.

Another beautiful element of the film is the locations where they film. Especially the locations in Ashdown Forest. The scenes were breath taking. It was also lovely watching Milne and Christopher Robin playing Pooh sticks. The fact that they use replicas of the original toys was also a really nice touch. It was nice to be reminded that Winnie the Pooh wasn't always Disney.

The script is fantastic and very well written. There are some very witty one liners and little jokes which make you chuckle. The WWI and WWII scenes are very impactive and make you think about the brutalities of War. The way the relationships between the characters are written keeps you fully in grossed in the film all the way through.

The whole cast are brilliant, especially the performances given by Domhnall Gleeson and Will Tilston. Their chemistry on screen is heart-warming and adds to the brilliance of the film. Margot Robbie plays the stern English mother excellently and Kelly Macdonald's performance as the loving caring nanny plays opposite that superbly.

Overall i would highly recommend this film to everyone. It is truly heart warming and touching. It will make you laugh, cry and want to read Winnie the Pooh all over again. Brilliant.
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