Bernard McNair

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Thank you for the excellent review Neil. This was one of my favourite new release films in 2017. Kelly Macdonald was particularly impressive and bought great warmth to her role. I realise that there are some historical inaccuracies but this was first rate entertainment. I hope it finds a large and appreciative audience on home cinema.
 
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benbess

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I really enjoyed this poignant movie. It's one of my favorites from 2017.

As Neil M. writes in his perceptive review:

"Goodbye Christopher Robin’s warm and picture-perfect production belie the haunting sadness at the core of the Milne family struggle. Director Simon Curtis builds their world with a sheen of English countryside idyll while the A. A. Milne builds the stories of the 100 acre wood. Sadly, the family is eventually torn asunder by those very same stories. Writers Simon Curtis and Frank Cottrell-Boyce show us the journey of Alan Milne as he struggles against the weight of his war experiences and the surprise fame that came with the publication of his book, “Winnie the Pooh”. For those unaware of the story, the effects of the “Pooh” book’s popularity on an already fragile family is heartbreaking, though the film isn’t dark and depressing. Far from it, really. Goodbye Christopher Robin captures the beauty of life, celebrates the innocence of childhood, and admires the gentle thawing of author Milne’s frigid manner. "
 

Andrew Budgell

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I also loved this film. I thought Will Tilston was a standout as the young Christopher Robin, giving one of the best child performances I've ever seen. I agree that Kelly Macdonald was also very moving.
 

Mike Frezon

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This film was a "miss" for Peg and I.

We wanted more of the story of the creation of the Pooh universe. This could have included all the material about the Milne's family situation and the nanny. But we found the inclusion of the PTSD storyline mostly irrelevant and maudlin.

We DID find the character of Christopher Robin's mother to be wholly unsympathetic. Why DID she disappear for weeks on end? If AA Milne admits to CR at the end that his happiest times in his life were those few days when they were (forced) together...why, oh why, wouldn't he have simply spent more time together with his son? And we thought the ending of the film was horribly rushed. After the receipt of the telegram, AA Milne goes to tell the sympathetic nanny but then the big reveal comes but just minutes later. There were some definite pacing issues.

So much potential. LOVED the marketing issues of the Pooh toys, etc. after the popular response to the works. The issue of CR's sudden fame and disruption of the little bit of family life they had should have been more of the center of the tale. I just thought too much effort was spent on AA's PTSD issues.
 
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Colin Jacobson

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This film was a "miss" for Peg and I.

We wanted more of the story of the creation of the Pooh universe. This could have included all the material about the Milne's family situation and the nanny. But we found the inclusion of the PTSD storyline mostly irrelevant and maudlin.

We DID find the character of Christopher Robin's mother to be wholly unsympathetic. Why DID she disappear for weeks on end? If AA Milne admits to CR at the end that his happiest times in his life were those few days when they were (forced) together...why, oh why, wouldn't he have simply spent more time together with his son? And we thought the ending of the film was horribly rushed. After the receipt of the telegram, AA Milne goes to tell the sympathetic nanny but then the big reveal comes but just minutes later. There were some definite pacing issues.

So much potential. LOVED the marketing issues of the Pooh toys, etc. after the popular response to the works. The issue of CR's sudden fame and disruption of the little bit of family life they had should have been more of the center of the tale. I just thought too much effort was spent on AA's PTSD issues.
In the commentary, the director explains that parents didn't "parent" like they do now back in Milne's day, so it was common for nannies to do the heavy lifting while the parents hob-nobbed.

I also wasn't wild about the movie, mainly because it bit off more than it could chew. It attempts too many storylines in its running time, so all suffer and seem superficial...
 

Mike Frezon

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I also wasn't wild about the movie, mainly because it bit off more than it could chew. It attempts too many storylines in its running time, so all suffer and seem superficial...
+1 That's a huge part of why I think the film would have been much better without the PTSD arc. It didn't fit, it didn't add much to the rest of the story and would've given the rest of the elements a chance to breathe. It also was a bit of a downer in a story that should have been more uplifting/fun (in my opinion).
 

Colin Jacobson

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+1 That's a huge part of why I think the film would have been much better without the PTSD arc. It didn't fit, it didn't add much to the rest of the story and would've given the rest of the elements a chance to breathe. It also was a bit of a downer in a story that should have been more uplifting/fun (in my opinion).
As I see it, "GCR" had 3 major narrative arcs:

-The Milne family
-Writing "Pooh"
-Dealing with the success of "Pooh"

That ignores to some degree "older Billy", which is another story thread, but not one that gets a ton of attention.

Any of these could've sustained a full movie. We could've had 2 hours of Milne's history or 2 hours of the genesis/development of Pooh or 2 hours of dynamics related to its success.

Instead, "GCR" packed in all 3 and gave none of them room to grow. It's not a bad film but it simply feels incomplete and rushed...
 

benbess

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As I see it, "GCR" had 3 major narrative arcs:

-The Milne family
-Writing "Pooh"
-Dealing with the success of "Pooh"

That ignores to some degree "older Billy", which is another story thread, but not one that gets a ton of attention.

Any of these could've sustained a full movie. We could've had 2 hours of Milne's history or 2 hours of the genesis/development of Pooh or 2 hours of dynamics related to its success.

Instead, "GCR" packed in all 3 and gave none of them room to grow. It's not a bad film but it simply feels incomplete and rushed...
Maybe....But real life usually has lots of things going on at the same time. We'll agree to disagree.

On another topic, do you have a review up for Three Billboards?
 
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MatthewA

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Instead, "GCR" packed in all 3 and gave none of them room to grow. It's not a bad film but it simply feels incomplete and rushed...
I'm not sure it needed to be much longer than it is now (there are no deleted scenes here, thus no way to tell whether they would have made a difference), and there may have been legal limitations to how much actual Pooh-related material they could use. For a movie that was knowingly conceived and executed from the ground up under those circumstances, I think they could have done a lot, lot worse.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I'm not sure it needed to be much longer than it is now (there are no deleted scenes here, thus no way to tell whether they would have made a difference), and there may have been legal limitations to how much actual Pooh-related material they could use. For a movie that was knowingly conceived and executed from the ground up under those circumstances, I think they could have done a lot, lot worse.
Sure - it could definitely be worse. While I didn't really like it, I also didn't think it was bad.

I just think they should've narrowed the focus some - it casts too broad a net...
 

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