Based on a true story, Goodbye Christopher Robin tells how A. A. Milne has been inspired to create Winnie the Pooh thanks to his son’s imagination, Christopher Robin Milne.
The first thing that struck me in the first few minutes of the film, was the music. Composed by Carter Burwell, the soundtrack manages throughout the film to give the emotions of each of the characters and especially A. A. Milne. The director Simon Curtis used a lot of close-ups on them to emphasize their emotions that appear retained at first. This is a bourgeois family where cries and sadness were not allowed after the drama of the First World War.
Domhnall Gleeson (recently seen in Mother!) interprets a father who seems rather cold and distant at the beginning but who turns out to be loving with his son, although clumsy sometimes. The well-being and happiness of his son seem to be very important to him. But traumatized by the First World War, the character of A. A. Milne doesn’t seem very expressive, but he manages to move us in the same way as Will Tilston who plays Christopher Robin Milne as a child and who feels an unreserved love of a child for his nurse Olive, played by Kelly Macdonald.
Margot Robbie plays A. A. Milne’s wife, Daphne. There is not a lot to say about her interpretation, except perhaps that I find her British accent is slightly exaggerated. Even though she seems a little superficial and sensitive to the spotlight, she is a mother who is just as loving as her husband but she is also frightened by the idea of having a son who can go to war when he will be older and losing him as she could have lost her husband.
The creation of Winnie the Pooh is a kind of escape from the trauma of a past war and the fright of a war to come. It seems to be a break, a moment when time stops, a bubble in which the director brings you in this universe by mixing to the film some sketches of the illustrator E. H. Shepard interpreted by Stephen Campbell Moore.
Goodbye Christopher Robin has the particularity of getting you back to childhood and reminding you how much we enjoyed Winnie the Pooh when you were young.