PG Dir: Simon Curtis | Twentieth Century Fox | 1h 47min
Plot: What’s it about?
I’ll be honest, Goodbye Christopher Robin is a film that I had little (make that zero) desire to see. I recall seeing the trailers and just knowing the film wouldn’t be my cup of tea. That isn’t to say that I’d refuse to enjoy it if I ever sat down to watch it, but I’m not a fan of these sorts of films. They have their fans, to be sure, but to each their own. Margot Robbie stars in it and she’s certainly easy on the eyes, so that element at least raised my initial hesitation a bit. Still, I really only know of Winnie the Pooh by name. The cute little bear just isn’t something that ever did much for me. I’m more than aware of all of the characters as well, but it’s just not my jam. The film shows the creation of Winnie the Pooh by author AA Milne in which his son, Christopher Robin inspired him.
AA Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) is struggling to create new work, so he decides to relocate to an isolated location in the woods along with Daphne (Margot Robbie) and his son, Christopher Robin (Will Tilston). The nanny comes along with them, but Milne and Chris end up alone for a few weeks. During this alone time together, Winnie the Pooh is created. I’ve read another review with the reviewer stating that he’s never wondered once the genesis of Winnie the Pooh. I must say that I am in the exact same boat. This origin story, if you will, just didn’t have the necessary hook to reel me in.
The film is set shortly after the First World War, and unless it’s a war film, this particular setting tends to turn me off and bore me. The film simply didn’t have the impact on me that I’m pretty sure the filmmakers intended it to have. We also get hints of the effects of war on AA Milne, but the story never really finds its focus. Instead, it just meanders around rather aimlessly.
The acting is fine by all parties, but the central premise left me unchanged. I think I’d rather just watch a Winnie the Pooh film than one dealing with his creation. Looking back over this, I have to wonder who exactly will want to see this film. I suppose Pooh fanatics may, but ask yourself, do you really care about his origins? I suppose if you answered yes then the film is right up your alley. All others should steer clear.
Video: How’s it look?
Visually speaking, the film has a lot going for it. The content itself might’ve bored me, but the transfer at least satisfies. The image is AVC encoded with a 1.85:1 ratio with a crisp print and strong color contrast throughout. Definition was strong and background shots were as well. The transfer presents the film in a strong manner.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD tracks suits the film fine even if there’s nothing too robust about it. I don’t think someone will think of this film when showing off their system, so the results should fall in line with the expectations. Vocals were still crisp and natural sounding. So while not an overly active track, it works fine for the film at hand.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – Director Simon Curtis and Frank Cottrell-Boyce do put together a pretty interesting track. Granted I wasn’t totally invested in the source material, but for those that are – this is a decent outing for the duo.
- Promotional Featurettes – It would probably take me longer to list out what these were about than to watch them. They all run on average about two and a half minutes, with the longest of them being just over three minutes. They all spell out some behind the scenes footage as well as some general insight into the movie.
- A Walk in the Woods
- Healing a Nation
- A. Milne
- Hello Billy Moon
- Daphne Milne
- The Story
- Christopher Robin & His Nanny Olive
- The Cast
- Photo Gallery – A collection of stills from the movie which can be played automatically or manually.
- Theatrical Trailer
The Bottom Line
I suppose there is an audience for this sort of film, but it’s just not for me. It was a tough slog to get through. If you care about the origins of Winnie the Pooh then maybe this will be for you, but all others can safely skip it.