History vs Hollywood
Is Simon Curtis’ story of the child that inspired the Winnie-the-pooh character just another Hollywood fairytale? Director: Simon Curtis Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, Will Tilston Country: United Kingdom Released: 2017
The truth behind the harrowing tale of Goodbye Christopher Robin
In the movie, author AA Milne suffers with PTSD after fighting in World War I and moves his family from London to the countryside as a result. Although it is not confirmed whether Milne really did have PTSD, he was a passionate anti-war advocate.
In the film, Milne’s wife Daphne publishes ‘Vespers’, his heartfelt poem to her, in the magazine Vanity Fair without his knowledge. In truth, Milne had promised Daphne that she could keep any money she made if she was able to sell it to a publication.
Daphne is portrayed as a neglectful mother who leaves her son in the care of a nanny. This isn’t quite true as Christopher Milne has said that his mother would often play with him as a child, and it was her who came up with a lot of the material for Winnie-the-pooh.
Christopher was inspired to name his teddy after a bear called Winne that he saw at London Zoo. The film also doesn’t take any dramatic license when Christopher is forced to have his photo taken inside the wild animal’s enclosure years later - this really happened!
At the end, Christopher reconciles with his parents after years of tension caused by the fame and attention that Milne’s books brought. In reality, things weren’t that easy: Christopher only saw his mother once in the 15 years she lived after his father’s death.