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Goodbye Christopher Robin


Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, Will Tilston, Alex Lawther, Stephen Campbell Moore, Vicki Pepperdine, Richard McCabe, Geraldine Somerville, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Shaun Dingwall

Director: Simon Curtis

In this moving, appropriately unsentimental tale of the genesis of AA Milne's fabled characters, screenwriters Frank Cottrell Boyce and Simon Vaughan happily steer well clear of saccharine sentiment, presenting Milne (perfectly played by Gleeson) as a former WW1 soldier who, suffering from PTSD, is often thrown off balance by sudden noises.

No longer able to write his famed stage comedies, he moves to rural Sussex to write an anti-war book, claiming 'I have had enough of making people laugh. I want to make them see'.

Instead, while his socialite wife Robbie ignores the boy, leaving him to be loved and looked after by nanny Macdonald, Milne slowly bonds with his six-year-old son Robin (Tilston, equally impressive), catalysing the creation of the magical world of Winnie the Pooh and his pals.

Which is where the fairy-tale grinds to a halt. Christopher Robin is cruelly exploited to boost sales, inevitably becoming alienated from his father. Gleeson and Tilston hold centre screen perfectly, with strong support from Robbie, bitchy to perfection and given the memorable line describing New York as 'Just like London - with more money'.

Alan Frank

UK 2017. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour.
103 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 01 Mar 2018

DVD review