Last night I walked the red carpet in Leicester Square for the World Premiere of Simon Curtis’ new film Goodbye Christopher Robin. The film stars the phenomenal Domhnall Gleeson & Margot Robbie and depicts the story of possibly the most famous of children’s books, Winnie The Pooh. The film reveals the true sadness behind the stories that bought so much happiness to the world…
I lived 7miles or so from Pooh Stick bridge in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex until I was 3 years old and we moved slightly further away, I was brought up with stories of A.A. Milne and his adventures of Winnie The Pooh and his pals that included Tigger and Piglet (my favourite). Due to the inspiration behind The Hundred Acre Wood being so close to home I was really excited to see the film, it was actually shot in the forest. It’s made me want to go back there & explore more, and obviously to play pooh sticks again!
Back to last night, after collecting my tickets I headed for the red carpet. I went through a weird little entrance that I hadn’t been through before but it still lead to the same place at the foot of the carpet. For a second I thought they’d got me muddled up with someone important!
The premiere opened with the Coldstream brass band who walked up the carpet and past a giant Winnie The Pooh stuffed bear whilst playing a tune on their instruments. The band feature in the film and so this was a lovely touch and is clearly a good way to catch the crowd’s attention.
The stars then followed, Kelly Mcdonald (who plays christopher’s nanny, Olive in the biopic) showed off her slim figure in a luxurious velvet co-ord with feather features and a round buckled belt that cinched her in at the waist, she looked very glamourous.
This was the second time In a fortnight (last premiere was Mother) that I’ve seen Domhnall Gleeson (playing A.A. Milne – Christopher Robin’s Father/ Winnie the Pooh Author) and he always just looks as though he’s having a great time, taking the time to sign autographs and having a laugh with the other stars and celebrities. I think he just comes across as a really likeable and charismatic person. ALSO, how has it taken me this long to realise that he played Bill Weasley in Harry Potter?!
On the other hand it was really nice to see such a well-known movie star taking the time to say hello to
Then the film began. One thing that was quickly made apparent was the post-traumatic stress that A.A. Milne suffered from after returning from the war, and the worry and heartache that Daphne experienced whilst he was away. The war is one of the main themes that runs throughout the film without being overpowering and is the thing that almost brings the film full circle.
Not long after A.A. Milnes return, Daphne falls pregnant. She gives birth and believes the labour almost killed her, this could be one of the reasons for the lack of a bond between her and her child – who they legally name Christopher Robin Milne (although they call him Billy Moon – A.A. Milne is Blue Moon) Blue Moon also fails to bond with the baby which leads the parents to hire a nanny to give him the love that they could not, and because they are both too busy for a child. Nanny Olive (New Moon) brings Billy Moon up and treats him as if he were her own son. His father is a writer who soon begins to feel trapped in London and insists that the family are to move to the East Sussex countryside. New Moon’s mother then becomes very sick and she is forced to visit her, leaving Billy and Blue Moon on their own. This starts off very rocky but these days soon turn out to be the best days of their life after they begin to invent the story of Winnie The Pooh as their imaginations run wild.
The story of Winnie the Pooh then really takes off and the family are plunged into stardom, but behind this we are also shown the struggle of a young boy who is trying to be accepted by his own parents and just wanting them (or anyone) to love him. The experiences that he had shared with his father and had brought them closer together are now the experiences that are tearing them apart.
I don’t want to go into too much detail as to what happens as it’s a really lovely, sweet film. I got a little teary towards the end which is very unusual for me! (hard as nails mate). And I find it difficult to get my head around how the story that brought so much happiness to the world managed to destroy the lives and relationships of those who were behind it. It just shows what cost being successful can come at. It really is a charming film and I feel that if you were a fan of the Winnie the Pooh books as a child, you should go have a watch. The story is told so well and Gleeson and Tilston are magical to watch.
The film comes out on 29th September and I think you’ll love it no matter what age you are!
•Photos of Celebrities are not my own (including top film poster image)