Saturday, 30 September 2017

Goodbye Christopher Robin


The charm of AA Milne's Winnie The Pooh has always been lost on me; as a child I was more a Beatrix Potter kind of gal, and so some of the rather " magic" nature of how Milne bonded with his son over a child's fantasy life of stuffed animals, a red letter moment which led to the publication of a franchise, was beyond me.
However Goodbye Christopher Robin is not just, as what I expect is a rather overblown story of how Pooh was written. It is a rather overblown story of just how poor little Christopher Robin survived a childhood, typical of so many 1920's children who had to cope with emotionally and physically distant parents who had battled through the horrors of WW1
Alan Milne ( Domhnall Gleeson) and his wife Daphne ( Margot Robbie) are not sympathetic characters. He is inconsistent and clearly uses the private moments with his son as fodder for fame,
whilst his wife is a brittle, but vivacious socialite who is quite capable of leaving husband and child
when it suits her but the audience sees them through modern eyes rather than from the perspective of the buttoned up upper classes of pre 1940 England and so it is very hard to identify and even understand them as the norm
Thank goodness for Kelly Mc Donald's emotionally warm Nanny Nou, for it is her arrival that saves the film from it's own dourness and gives it some heart. In the end I found myself more interested in her relationship with Christopher Robin ( Will Tilston) than the all too numerous , soft focus scenes when Milne , Christopher and a gaggle of stuffed toys " played" idyllically in the woods of rural Sussex..indeed.the moment where Nanny breaks down when she thinks the now adult Christopher Robin has died in battle ( a thing his parents were unable to do) literally broke my heart...and.only then did I realise that McDonald's character reminded me of my own grandmother, a person who provided me with all of the warmth and heart that was lacking in my own parenting.
6/10
Nanny Nou


38 comments:

  1. I have Christopher Robin's autobiography. It is very revealing and pathetic in the true sense of the word. You can have it if you want it.

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    1. I had a similar upbringing Tom. It would be a painful read me thinks

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    2. Methinks it could be cathartic. It certainly was for Christopher. Remind me of your postcode via 'stephen@...' and I will send it. You will like it, I am sure.

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    3. Thank you, perhaps you are right

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  2. I'll go and see it on Monday. Americans will see it as adorably British heritage I read.

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    1. On reflection I found it an incredibly difficult watch

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    2. The Art Deco kitchen was adorable though

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    3. I don't think I will like it much either, was in two minds whether to go. At least there'll be Nanny Noo's hat to look out for, and the art deco kitchen!

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    4. The Milne cottage AND London house is adorable. ....I am feeling rather deflated by it all though

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    5. That is very patronizing to Americans. But then again, it's you, Rachel, so I would expect such a provincial point of view.

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    6. She was just quoting viv xxxx

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    7. I was quoting from a newspaper review. Please read carefully "I read" it says and is very pertinent to your comment. What a horrible comment you made.

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    8. All explained nuff said

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    9. Rachel, don't believe the propaganda.

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    10. I wish I had never bothered. It was just a review I hàd in front of me at that moment and I was sharing it with John.

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    11. It was not a comment of any malice unlike others that followed. It is very sad.

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  3. Replies
    1. I suspect some U.K. Review viv... don't sweat it

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    2. OK, I won't sweat it that British people, either commenters on a blog or reviewers of films, just assume that Americans are too stupid to have the emotional depth to understand a child's heartbreak as long as the abuse is delivered with a posh accent. Hey, I didn't start this, I'm not the one who called out Americans for their lack nuance.

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    3. Us Brits are called too " tight assed" to viv.....
      lol to be honest I AM too tight assed !

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  4. Advanced word on this film was fairly negative. It sounds like you were able to pick out its strengths and get something out of it. It's a definite maybe for me.

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    1. Like I said Harry I found it painful but worthy... but I had a difficult childhood

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  5. Your'e a sweetheart, John. And I'm not drooling as I type this, contrary to what a certain kind of Brit assumes about Americans in general.

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    1. Rachel assumes nothing believe me .... enough already x

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    2. Millicent1:02 am

      Goodness, ya'll seem to have your panties in a wad today. Don't think i will see the movie..but i do like the bear.

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    3. Be it on my rolling head to say a word about Rachel. One of these days someone will (not) be able explain to me why she gets away with comments no other would without being challenged. I'd say Vivian has a fair point. Bashing Americans with and over the same rolling pin is rife. Not just in England, I hasten to add.

      "Quoting" other sources, thereby keeping a tale alive, doesn't make it better; all it means is abdicating our own responsibility by spinning someone else's yarn. How very convenient.

      We all know that Rachel doesn't mince her words. Even by my standards she can be harsh beyond belief. For her to call Vivian's comment "horrible" just about takes the brownie (as in cookie). There was nothing horrible about it. It was an observation. And a valid one at that. But never let the obvious stand in the way of a splinter in the eye.

      U

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    4. This blog entry is about a film and me
      Nothing else

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  7. Kelly McDonald is a great actress. Loved her in No Country for Old Men.

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  8. I was raised with the 100 acre wood on my doorstep, so the family (including the animal ones) were very much part of my life. I don't think I would now wish to see a film that changes my image of them all.

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  9. Oh dear. I don't really want to see this, being put off by both the story and the trailer (the latter looking insufferably twee) but I see that it's pencilled into my diary for Wed so s'pose I'll be going. Dare say there'll be several glances down at my watch during.

    Btw: So relieved to read that you miraculously survived your heart being 'literally' broken. There can't be many who've experienced it and lived to tell the tale. :-)

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  10. I gave Christopher Robin's autobiography to my mum years ago. if his father could have called the boy in the Winnie the Poo stories by another name it might have helped separate the two. Perhaps he didn't realise how successful the books would be.
    John I love Beatrix Potter, I wonder what you will have to say about the Peter Rabbit film x

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  11. Your crit on the film John
    obviously caught your weak spot too I really don't think any parent realises just what they do to their children - we all make mistakes in parenting - just not the ones our parents made because we are aware of them.

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  12. As an adult I love Pooh and when I accused my mother of slighting my childhood by not reading it to me she said I wouldn't sit still for it. I know the story of CR's rather weird childhood so am looking forward to the movie, although after this I don't expect much. Off to play Pooh Sticks!
    Peter

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    1. Nice to hear another perspective peter

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  13. She was my grandma Maudie.

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  14. Interesting. I'd heard that Milne and Christopher Robin had a rather fraught relationship, especially after Christopher Robin became an adult, so maybe the film explains some of those bad feelings. I loved the Pooh books as a kid. Maybe it's best not to let reality intrude on that fantasy world!

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