You may have seen the recent TV commercial trailer with the adored Winnie the Pooh bouncing back to life for movie Christopher Robin.
They lost the race to 2017’s Goodbye Christopher Robin. This is not that. Do not confuse this year’s Disney work with last year’s pioneering piece directed by Simon Curtis from a screenplay by Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Simon Vaughan.
Goodbye Christopher Robin is one serious work.
We find A.A. Milne returned from World War I, decidedly a victim of PTSD and struggling to return to the writer’s life in London. His wife Daphne is less than equipped to cope with his mood changes, not to mention the arrival of their first, a precious boy whom they long expected would be a girl.
Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie are complicated through all stages of this mercurial partnership as they struggle to find themselves and a middle ground, from London to the sprawling countryside that gave way to the fertile literary grounds of Winnie the Pooh.
The best acting work, though, comes from cherubic child Will Tilston, whose character Billy Moon is a complex piece of work with parents who love him, sure, but might not always carry his best interests down the roads of life as they place him in the hands of his nanny and then thrust him into the harsh light of millions of eyes.
This was a complex family relationship that led to simply the world’s most beloved children’s stories, and plenty of wounds are made, and opened, for all to discover in this telling.
Central New Yorkers can view Goodbye Christopher Robin free at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at the Liverpool Public Library.