Christopher Robin - This Milne Movie Rocks
Dir: Mark Forster
Starring Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Mark Gatiss, Bronte Carmichael, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Toby Jones, Pater Capaldi
Two films in less than a year bearing the name Christopher Robin (last year’s Goodbye Christopher Robin being the other one in case you’d forgotten), and two films proving there is room for two takes on A A Milne’s world, even in rapid succession. But is this number two Pooh the more satisfying? In many ways, yes. It’s certainly the more family friendly and the one that features Milne’s beloved characters as they should be seen, here captured in beautifully realised – and performed – CGI.
In a manner than evokes memories of Hook, Christopher Robin (McGregor) is now all grown up and has put away childish things in favour of an unsatisfying job, a marriage he’s distant from and a child he is failing at raising. What that man needs is a trip to Never Never Land…no, sorry, the Hundred Acre Woods to put him back in touch with his inner child. Cue the arrival of Pooh (splendidly voiced by Cummings – doing double duty as Tigger as well) to bring the middle aged Robin back to his boyish self with the help of Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Owl and, of course, the scene stealing Eeyore.
Can they save Christopher Robin? Well, that’s never in doubt in Forster’s film. Also never in doubt is how perfect a match McGreogor is for the material, at once adept at bearing the weight of the adult world on his shoulders, we also know that when he finally smiles – and McGregor surely has one of the finest smiles in all of modern cinema (see that Renton freeze frame on the hood of the car at the start of Trainspotting if proof be needed) - order will be restored to this chaotic world.
Christopher Robin is a very slight film ultimately, and one that even at a brief running time occasionally feels a little long. But it is full of charm, heart and McGregor. And through that, manages to be utterly delightful.
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