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A rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children's author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne (Margot Robbie), 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, what will the cost be to the family?Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Christopher stated in his biography that "Shrapnel put him out of action, just when (as he wrote later) he needed such a happenstance the most. (Small shards of the metal were left embedded in his brain, where they remained undetected for nearly fifty years.)." See more »
In the scene at the station when Christoper Robin is leaving for the army, there is a map of Southern England on the wall behind them.
During the war, all maps and signs were removed from public places, as these could have aided the enemy. See more »
Christopher Robin Aged 8:
Well... you see, after the war there was so much sadness... that hardly anyone could remember what happines was like. Then Winnie the Pooh came along and he was like a tap. You just turned it on and happines came out.
Christopher Robin Aged 8:
But I'm not Christopher Robin, really. I'm Billy Moon.
See more »
Beautifully nuanced, but hauntingly sad tale behind the children's classics
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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