Struggling PTSD after coming back from World Battle I, playwright A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) strikes his household to the countryside and makes an attempt to write down an anti-war ebook. However whereas affected by author’s block he begins bonding together with his younger son (Will Tilston) and envisages a narrative for kids as a substitute.
Christopher Robin was actual, and he wasn’t pleased about it. Extra particularly, he wasn’t pleased to be put in a scenario the place individuals discovering he was ‘the actual Christopher Robin’ meant one thing — that his childhood video games had been packaged and offered by his father throughout 4 books and numerous objects of tie-in merchandise. Once you see him as a six-year-old being doorstepped by reporters or instructed to face by an actual bear for a photograph op (“He’ll be nice so long as he doesn’t make any sudden actions”), you begin to see his level.
A witty and touching father-son story.
It’s this father-son relationship between A.A. Milne and “Billy Moon” (Christopher’s dad and mom’ pet title for him) that’s on the coronary heart of Goodbye Christopher Robin. Milne returned from World Battle I a modified man. Affected by post-traumatic stress dysfunction, brilliant lights, loud noises, even the buzzing of bees transported him again to the atrocities he witnessed on the Somme. His resolution was a transfer out of London — swapping his Chelsea townhouse for the peace of a Sussex farmhouse so he might think about his writing. Right here he started spending time outdoor and, consequently, extra time together with his son.
As a response to this, his spouse, Daphne (Margot Robbie), upped and left, vowing solely to return when he began writing once more. Which, impressed by Christopher’s video games together with his tender toys within the woods by his home, he quickly did — writing a set of poems (When We Have been Very Younger) adopted by the novel Winnie-The-Pooh.
If Daphne’s actions appear unfathomable and heartless, that isn’t the half of it. Her character is, by a distance, the weakest factor of the movie. In actuality, she was additionally psychologically broken (not least by her experiences throughout childbirth) however the script doesn’t give her points the identical credence it provides her husband’s. She’s thinly written, and comes off as a self-centred, one-note villain. Harley Quinn was extra likeable.
However largely, all the things else works. Milne was a famend wit, and the dialogue is sharply written (“The midwife says 9 kilos. I’m inclined to suppose midwives are like anglers — exaggerating the dimensions of the catch”). And whereas real-life occasions seem condensed, or barely moved within the timeline to higher match the movie’s narrative, the essence is identical. The tales grow to be worldwide bestsellers, propelling his son to a stage of fame he can’t comprehend, however which his dad and mom are pleased to use for financial acquire. Even earlier than the books’ success, Christopher was predominately raised by his nanny, Olive (Kelly Macdonald), and his attachment to her solely grows as his dad and mom grow to be extra preoccupied.
Regardless of it starting with Milne’s struggles, the movie in the end focuses on Christopher’s emotional journey. And whether or not that’s profitable comes all the way down to the actor taking part in him. Fortunately, Will Tilston (in his first function) is a revelation. Naturalistic in a method most little one actors aren’t, it’s straightforward to only settle for how good he’s moderately than shout about it. However shout about it we must always. He sells each second — his pleasure is ours and so is his sorrow. The ageing of the character means he’s handed the function to a different actor (Alex Lawther) by the point the movie approaches its heart-wrenching finale, however that it lands is all the way down to the work he’s completed. Not a foul begin.
A witty and touching father-son story. And at its centre: a startling debut from Will Tilston, whose compelling efficiency ensures its emotional moments land efficiently.