Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, Will Tilston, Alex Lawther, Stephen Campbell Moore
Director: Simon Curtis
Release date: 29th September 2017
The story begins in 1941, in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, Sussex. A man and his wife receive a letter in the post which contains news that will bring their whole world crashing down. Time flashes back to 1916 and the middle of World War 1, or ‘The War To End All Wars’. A short time later, in 1920, a baby is born in London. The mother struggles to connect with the child and the father is still extremely traumatised after the events of the Great War. Alan Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) is an author who has had a modicum of success in the theatre. He decides he’s had enough of London life, and uproots his wife and young child to the country to start a new life. They move into a large house on the edge of the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. Struggling with parenthood, the couple hire a nanny for the young boy and she pretty much raises him herself. On a trip to the zoo, the young boy, named Christopher Robin but called Billy by his family, sees a huge brown bear called Winnie. It has this name because he is a Winnipeg Brown Bear. Billy is soon given a stuffed bear by his mother and he treasures it. Events take a turn and both his mother and nanny have to return to London. This leaves Billy alone with his father, whose nickname is Blue. Blue is totally at a loss on how to look after the young boy, but soon Billy makes his father warm to him and they begin spending a lot of quality time together. Billy asks his father if he would write a book just for him, using his toys as subject material. Time passes and the two form an extremely strong bond. The story begins to shape itself, but how will it go on to affect this young family and their lives?
The first Winnie the Pooh book was released back in 1926 and would go on to make a household name of its creator, A.A.Milne. The much loved children’s books told the story of a young boy called Christopher Robin and his cuddly toys which came to life. They told of the many adventures the group would have. There was a small bear called Winnie the Pooh, a small toy pig called Piglet, a toy donkey called Eeyore, an owl, a kangaroo and her little joey called Kanga and Roo. There’s also a toy Tiger called Tigger who bounced around everywhere. The books would go on to make a household name of their creator and sell millions of copies Worldwide.
I kind of thought I knew the story behind the Winnie the Pooh stories, but this movie both entertained and educated me. A while ago I had pretty much written off Domhnall Gleeson as an actor I had really gone off watching. This movie made me see him in a whole new light. He showed true warmth and emotion and made the story enjoyable. The young Christopher Robin, played by Will Tilston is brilliant. The connection between the two lost souls of father and son is beautiful. I don’t know what it is about movies set around war-time, but they make you feel emotions that most other movies don’t make you feel. Young, innocent men going off to war, not knowing if they will see their homes and families ever again. It really strikes a chord in most people’s hearts.
If you’re looking for a heart-warming and touching story in a movie, then go and see ’Goodbye Christopher Robin’. There could well be tears by the end, so be prepared. I really loved it and I’m now seeing Domhnall Gleeson in a whole new light. Definitely give it a chance.