Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin (PG)

TROUBLED: Domhnall Gleeson as A A Milne in Goodbye Christopher Robin. Picture : PA Photo/Fox Searchlight Pictures/David Appleby.

In this handsomely crafted drama, battle-scarred author A A Milne and his wife Daphne treat their young son as a sales tool in the mid-1920s to promote the literary adventures of a hunny-loving bear called Winnie-The-Pooh.

A tender exchange by telephone between father and son is broadcast live on the radio without the boy’s consent or prior knowledge, a trip to the zoo turns into a calculated photo opportunity, and playtime is curtailed to make way for a busy schedule of interviews and meet ‘n’ greets. The sacrifice of one little boy’s childhood innocence for the happiness and healing of a shell-shocked Britain, which has been devastated by the Great War, is at the wounded heart of Simon Curtis’ picture. The script, co-written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Simon Vaughan, exposes the anguish and resentment that festered beneath the Hundred Acre Wood.

A troubled Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) returns to London from the trenches and moves his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) and their young son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston) the verdant idyll of Ashdown Forest. Milne hopes to pen a fierce rebuke against war, but a walk with his son through the sun-dappled landscape prompts him to contemplate a book that magically brings to life the boy’s menagerie of stuffed toys.

On general release.

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