Plot: After his experiences in World War I, writer A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) is a changed man, as he is haunted by post traumatic stress disorder and feels an obligation to pen anti-war materials. Of course, no one is eager to talk about the recent war, let alone read about it. Tired of writing light humor and needing to escape the drama of London, Milne moves his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) and son Christopher (Will Tilston) to a rural farm. He hopes the peace and quiet will calm his mind, easing his flashbacks and helping him to write some new material. The change in locale does wonders for Milne, but his wife dislikes the rural lifestyle and soon, it is just Milne and Christopher, after the nanny takes a leave to care for her dying mother. The two begin to explore the woods around the estate and inspired by Christopher’s stuffed animals, they concoct stories that center on Christopher and his beloved plush toys. But when the stories get published and a whirlwind of fame and fortune pours in, how will impact this already fragile family dynamic?
Entertainment Value: This movie is based on the true story of A.A. Milne and his son, the creators of the Winnie the Pooh books. As far I can tell, the movie is mostly accurate, but does veer from the real events in order to provide a happier conclusion. While the timeless characters Milne created have a role in Goodbye Christopher Robin, the movie is more about him and his son. Their relationship was not the warmest, but they shared some magical experiences that led to Milne’s books and by turn, a global phenomenon that would touch millions of lives. In other words, don’t sit down young viewers in hopes that the dolls will come to life and entertain, as this is a serious drama, not a children’s picture. There are moments of humor to be sure, especially as Christopher and Milne build the world of the woods, but the tone overall is serious and deals with war, mental health, relationship issues, family dysfunction, and the price of fame, the latter of which proves to be a central theme. The performances are solid, with Domhnall Gleeson as Milne in a fine role and young Will Tilston, who has just the kind of charm and sense of wonder the role needs. Margot Robbie is here as well in a supporting role, playing the heartless bitch role well enough. I found this to be a rock solid drama that touches on some sensitive issues, but still manages to entertain and present a grounded, mostly authentic experience. If you appreciate character driven dramas or biopics, it is well worth a look.
No nakedness. Given the disposition of Daphne, I am surprised she ever got pregnant, as she seems to have ice water in her veins and no real regard for anyone outside of her own desires. No blood. The movie depicts some brief scenes of war, but it is more to help us understand what Milne is going through, haunted by his experiences on the battlefield and unable to fully move forward. As this is a character driven drama, the lack of sleaze and blood is no surprise and never a concern. The dialogue provides some fun moments of humor, as Milne has a sly sense of humor and Christopher always seems to have a cute line to unreel. The movie is well written and always interesting, just not a wild, outlandish experience, which leads to the low score. Robbie is fun to watch as an epic tier bitch, but otherwise, this one is grounded and serious. As such, no real off the wall craziness to mention.
Overall Insanity: 0/10