Goodbye Christopher Robin

If you have been looking for a movie based on a true story that will make you both cry and say “aww,” then look no further than the film "Goodbye Christopher Robin."

The movie premiered in select theaters on Oct. 13 and was directed by Simon Curtis, who is best known for directing the Marilyn Monroe drama "My Week with Marilyn." "Goodbye Christopher Robin" will take you on an enchanted journey to the real Hundred Acre Wood where the actual Christopher Robin (Will Tilston) played with his father, A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson), the writer of the "Winnie the Pooh" stories.

Even though the movie is mainly about how Milne developed the stories of Winnie the Pooh, it is also about Milne dealing with the aftermath of fighting in WWI. Because of post traumatic stress, Milne finds it difficult to cope with his daily life in London, being a famous playwright, husband and new father. A nanny, Nou (Kelly Macdonald) is hired to raise Christopher Robin Milne, referred to as Billy Moon by his family.

It's when Milne moves his family to the countryside and attempts to bond with his son that he gets the inspiration for the world of Winnie the Pooh. Because of the stories' success, a young Billy finds himself a celebrity he never wanted to be. The Milne family finds themselves having to choose between fame and a relationship with their son.

The movie’s nature is quite serious but is mixed with a childhood wonder that is portrayed impeccably. In one scene, Milne is participating in imaginative fun with his son, but that also triggers an episode of PTSD. It's Christopher who realizes the change and stops play. This scene may have the concise goal of showing how Milne is having trouble healing, but it also bridges the gap between his PTSD and the bond he is forming with his son.

The connections that were made between the real life story of Christopher Robin and the Winnie the Pooh stories were explored in a manner that feel genuine. Milne plays "Pooh Sticks" with his son, which for Winnie the Pooh fans is featured in the book series.

The bonds that Billy forms with both his father and his Nanny Nou are key aspects of the scenes involving “Pooh Sticks.” Not only do the scenes show the relationships that are strengthened, but the scenes also show how Milne took these real moments from Billy’s childhood to add to his stories. This can explain why Billy came to resent "Winnie the Pooh" because his father took their private memories and published them.

Both Tilston and Gleeson did a superb job of portraying their characters. They brought to life this father and son bond, and they were both clearly the stars of the film. Gleeson distinctly looks like a man who is trying to heal and find meaning through his relationship with his young son.

If the "Winnie the Pooh" stories are able to bring so much wonder and excitement, then "Goodbye Christopher Robin" is not far behind. Until recently, Milne was just known as the author of "Winnie the Pooh," but because of this film, fans of the books will get to know the man behind the name on the book and his relationship with his darling boy.

Emma McDowell is a social work major at Shippensburg University and student in the Reviewing the Arts for Publication class.

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