A story looking at the life of A.A. Milne with his son Christopher Robin and the creation of Winnie the Pooh.
The film takes a look at Alan Milne dealing with the after effects of fighting in World War I and how he cannot cope with the feelings it has left behind. This includes the relationship with his wife Daphne and their son Christopher, who they actually call Billy Moon. Also taking a look at his relationship with Olive the Nanny.
It was totally different to what I expected from the trailers and knowing it was about the creation of Winnie the Pooh, it actually turned out to be a very tough watch. Alan and Daphne did really not seem to care about their son at all, which I know sounds very harsh but that was certainly how it felt watching the film from start to finish. I mean I know times have changed and rich people back then would have had a Nanny raise their child but some of the treatment was just so cruel.
Alan and Billy had to cope when Daphne had returned to London, basically because her husband was no longer writing and Olive had to attend to her sick mother. That was when Winnie the Pooh started to develop from the toys Billy played with in the woods they had so close to the home they had moved to, all to escape the noise of London. From that it really did quickly stem into a very crazy world, a world where everyone loved Winnie the Pooh. But poor Billy/Christopher did not have a very good childhood at all, having to do interviews and being bullied when starting a boarding school. Something which then happened for his whole time at school. It was all pretty heartbreaking in all honesty and even the ending did not make up for the treatment.
Performances I am a big fan of Domhnall Gleeson and thought he did very well in this one to capture the different feelings of Alan really struggling with PTSD after the war and not being able to understand why nobody else seems bothered. I thought Margot Robbie was massively miscast as her accent was awful at times, honestly just seemed as though she was trying way too hard to be British and it created some cringe worthy moments. The standout was Will Tilston in his first every role as the young Christopher Robin he was absolutely outstanding from start to finish and made the film a joy to watch, showing so many emotions. He really did make the film worth watching. Kelly Macdonald must be mentioned as well for her role as the Nanny and when she eventually stands up for herself.
I don’t think this film will be for everyone as it isn’t as joyful as you may expect, I am sure I am not the only one who assumed the story behind Winnie the Pooh was going to be a happy one. I guess that stems from my own memories of that bear and his friends from my own childhood and enjoying to watch the films that stemmed from the book. It was pretty good to find out just how popular the book was in a time of deep sadness to bring people happiness. This film though doesn’t have many happy moments and leaves you feeling rather low about the back story of poor Christopher Robin.