When I am a fan of something, I am the number one fan of that something. Whether that be McFly, Hamilton, Topshop crop tops or the city of Dublin, I go next level of fangirl. I was thinking about this yesterday when suddenly it clicked. Maybe the start of this fangirl pattern was my childhood love for Winnie-the-Pooh (which never wavered as I grew older). I loved Winnie-the-Pooh so much that my favourite colour was yellow (and still is) because Winnie-the-Pooh is yellow. I would argue with anyone who told me I was “too old” for the honey-loving bear and re-watched The Tigger Movie just the other day. Maybe my love of crop tops even boils down to Pooh bear. Long intro short, I went to see Goodbye Christopher Robin on Sunday and it was fantastic. WARNING: Contains spoilers.
I really didn’t know what to expect going into watch Goodbye Christopher Robin but I certainly didn’t expect to cry so much (much to my boyfriend’s amusement). The film is shot through what can only be described as an Instgram filter; the brown and yellow-y feel throwing us back to the early 20th Century and A. A. Milne’s life. We see how Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends were birthed from A. A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin’s own imagination and cuddly toys. Although based on real life, the film doesn’t entirely follow stick to A. A. Milne’s real life story, but it delivers a poignant story that leaves the audience exploring different themes way after the credits have rolled.
Goodbye Christopher Robin tackles PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder); we learn how it affects two characters in the film as they return home, traumatised from the experiences of war. At one point in the film, A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard are discussing ways in which the war has tainted post-war life. E. H. Shepard says something along the lines of the two of them needing to “sort out up here.” Up here being their minds. I found this part of the film to be wonderfully sharp; fleeting but its importance not so fleeting. Mental health is never far from being in the spotlight of Goodbye Christopher Robin and I was so happy to see such an important topic being brought to centre stage.
The cast were fantastic. I fell in love, naturally, with Olive’s (Kelly Macdonald) and Billy Moon’s (Will Tilston’s) relationship. Domnhall Gleeson played A. A. Milne, a deeply troubled writer unbelievably well. Margot Robbie, while we don’t like her character Daphne, was, too, superb. Interestingly the film addresses an issue that has recently been a point of discussion in the UK. Daphne experiences a traumatic childbirth; she was labelled as “unprepared” or something similar. While there were complications, it brings up the issue of women feeling as though they aren’t ready for labour beforehand; afterwards knowing they were unprepared. It sparks an interesting discussion about whether women should be properly informed about the facts of childbirth.
I remember being maybe seven years old and ill around the time of the Christmas holidays. I watched The Tigger Movie and filled in the Winnie-the-Pooh annual I received from Santa for Christmas. This memory fills me with the kind of nostalgia that really takes me back to the exact sofa I was sat on. Probably because it’s the exact sofa I’m sat on writing this blog post. I have owned Winnie The Pooh The Complete Collection of Stories and Poems since… well, for ever. I have since received a newer version of it and I cherish both with their lovely poems (one I learnt off by heart for school once) and gorgeous illustrations- illustrations I adored seeing come to life in the film. I have been pretty attached to these books over the last couple of days, reading the story of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends with a smile on my face.
Goodbye Christopher Robin is nostalgic. It’s sweet. It’s sad. I ached for the characters and felt sorrow for the loss many of them felt in many different ways. Goodbye Christopher Robin is my favourite movie of 2017 so far. Have you seen Goodbye Christopher Robin? Let me know your thoughts below if you have!
~ Kat ~