Written by: Audrey Evans…
If asked to refer back to their fondest memories, most adults would likely gloat about experiences from their youth. And honestly, what individual hasn’t reminisced about days of innocence and longed for that childhood comfort of a bedtime story? In ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin,’ we’re given a glimpse into the life and inspiration behind Author A.A. Milne’s book Winnie-the-Pooh – a children’s classic that is collectively referred to as the most cherished of all time. Though true life stories are often challenging to represent, Director Simon Curtis uses his aptitude for history to create an authentic bio-drama that dodges the sentimental distaste of many, and also explores the paramount effects of childhood celebrity and war.
From popping champagne corks to buzzing bees, the film sensitively exhibits how the slightest sound could trigger a dangerous memory and panic from Alan (Domhnall Gleeson), a man who suffered from tremendous PTSD after his service as an officer in the British Army during WWI. Shortly after the birth of their son Christopher (Will Tilston), Alan proclaims to his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie), that he’s desperate to get away from the theatrics and anxiety of London.
With the help of their nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald), the family retreats to the tranquil and scenic English countryside for Alan’s writing. But when the frustration is too great for his wife and she leaves him temporarily alone with Christopher to find his bearings, Alan is surprised to discover the connection he never knew he had with his son. After only a few days, he uncovers the inspiration for his next novel and inadvertently creates a self-therapy through the power of his art.
‘Goodbye Christopher Robin‘ has an artful conception and vibrant display of England in the 1920’s. The wide and intimate shots of the 100-acre woods make it easy to become lost in the mentality and wonderment of being a child. In one significant scene, both father and son get in touch with their resourcefulness by setting up the dinner table with Christopher’s ‘furry friends’ to not only grapple with the absence of both their female confidants, Daphne and Olive, but also to help highlight the invaluable power of imagination.
By the end of the picture, one can’t help but break down and appreciate the poignant and respectful portrayal of the Milne’s family struggle with post-war atrocities and parenting amidst fame. ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin‘ is both the story of a remedy for a damaged society, and a reminder that growing up too fast can have damaging consequences.