This Winnie the Pooh origin story about its PTSD-suffering author and the inspiration behind his famous, honey-addicted creation is an inoffensive prestige film that you’ve seen a million times before. Director Simon Curtis ticks a lot of boxes but falls short when it comes to convincingly tugging on the heartstrings, despite the tried-and-tested tear-jerking tropes linked to loss and the healing power of imagination. Instead, and despite its best efforts, the film slowly slides into maudlin territory. More interesting is how Goodbye Christopher Robin marks 2018 as the year of A. A. Milne, once again revealing that bizarre Hollywood trend which sees rival studios getting the irrepressible itch to celebrate the life of a popular figure in the same year, thereby clobbering cinemagoers around the head with close-to-simultaneous releases. Last year was the double dose of Churchill, the previous year saw the twin releases of the Florence Foster Jenkins stories – the pattern repeats like clockwork, and we’ll soon be graced with the adventurously-titled Christopher Robin, starring Ewan McGregor and an animated (and American-voiced) bear. Here’s hoping it lives up to its ursin cousin Paddington’s cinematic adventures, and is a much less sapless affair than this first helping.
Goodbye Christopher Robin | Directed by Simon Curtis (UK 2017). Starts June 7
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