Goodbye Christopher Robin (7/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 107 minutes.
Based on the
relationship between “Winnie the Pooh” author AA Milne and his son,
Christopher Robin, from whom sprang most of Milne’s stories, this is a
tear-jerking biopic with a smashing performance by Will Tilston, who
plays Christopher. It shows how his parents, AA Milne (Domhnall Gleason)
and Daphne (Margot Robbie), exploited their son and robbed him of his
childhood. The only negative about it is that it is far too long. It
took me 45 minutes to really get into the story as the first half of the
film drags terribly.
Directed by Simon Curtis from a script written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
and Simon Vaughan, Milne fled his London life to abide in the English
countryside. There he unexpectedly found a treasure trove of stories
about his apparently precocious but sensitive son and, voila! suddenly
he was the world famous writer of children’s books.
This happened serendipitously because the imaginary stories he created
for his son in East Sussex he turned into stories that were about his son
and his huge supply of stuffed animals, one of which was the teddy bear
that they both called Winnie-the-Pooh.
While that is the basis of the film, what it’s really about is the
effect all this had on Christopher Robin and, tangentially, Milne and
Daphne and their relationship. It’s an interesting, heart-rending tale.
The story is enhanced by the outstanding production design in recreating
the English countryside of the 1920s and fine performances by all three,
but especially Tilston, who really should be up for Oscar® consideration
as Best Supporting Actor.