Goodbye Christopher Robin. Seems we won’t get to know you any better.

Goodbye Christopher Robin is a wonderful film if you getting your head stuck in a  honeypot

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It is the story of the relationship between a man and his son while he writes probably the most famous childrens’ books ever written. Probably the most lucrative since Disney has got hold of them and bastardized them.

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The books, rather than the film, are about the relationship between the boy and his toys, most famously Winnie the Pooh.

It is a point worth making because it is an important point.  All the characters in the film are now dead so they cannot contradict or object to their portrayal.

However, much contemporary record runs contrary to the content of the film,  particularly the relationships between the main characters,, most notably between the father and son.  The film seeks, not so much to rewrite history, but to realignment it, to change the nuances, to make things look pretty than they really were.

Does it matter?  Certainly anybody who has been serious about reading the books has always known that Christopher Milne became deeply resentful of the impact they had on his life and for many the pleasure in reading Winnie the Pooh will always be qualified by this.

This scene shows how the film works.

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This scene is a romantic exaggeration. It shows father and son reconciled (in a flashback full of happy memories) after Christopher returns from WWII.  They are looking out over a nostalgically sun-drenched landscape. The film does not acknowledge the fact that they were not on speaking terms for many years.

The relationship between the parent is similarly updated. In the film, they separate for while. Cue  James, James, Morrison, Morrison,

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Both of the Milne parents would eventually take lovers, however the film shows them reconciled after the separation.

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Christopher Milne remained deeply resentful that his father had effectively stolen his childhood with the books, refusing for many years to accept any of the considerable royalties and remaining estranged from parents.

The film gives the impression that there was some reconciliation when he returned from service in WWII.  Apparently, this was not the case.

The only relationship that is portrayed reasonably accurately is the relationship between Christopher Robin and his nanny, Olive (played by Kelly Macdonald) known as Nou.

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It gives interesting insight into the relationship between upper middle-class parents, children and nannies, similar to that portrayed in The King’s Speech where the relationship was perhaps a little less warm.

Matters were worsened by the fact that Christopher married his cousin and his mother, who was deeply disapproving of the match, refused to see him even on her deathbed, something that is also left out of the film.

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Nonetheless, everyone who was read AA Milne as a child and who has nothing better to do on a wet afternoon, should probably see Goodbye Christopher Robin  and  if they don’t get out the books and read them because  “in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

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