Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

Director: Simon Curtis

Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Simon Vaughan (Screenplay)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Macdonald, Will Tilston, Alex Lawther, Phoebe Waller-Bridge

 

Plot: A behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne.


Tagline – Inspired by the True Story

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: By the Books Biopic

 

Story: Goodbye Christopher Robin starts as we see how Alan Milne (Gleeson) a World War I soldier and playwriter is struggling to come up with new ideas and struggling with the effects of war on his everyday life. With his wife Daphne (Robbie) a socialite that loves the fame. When they have a child Christopher Robin they hire Olive (Macdonald) to be nanny as the family move to the country.

With Christopher (Tilston) now aged 8, Alan is left to look after Christopher alone where the two start going on adventures in the woods, where Alan gets the inspiration to write the adventures of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh, but when the fame brings him an unwanted attention on his young son who will be left with the brand of being Christopher Robin for life.

 

Thoughts on Goodbye Christopher Robin

 

Characters – Alan Milne served in the First World War, he was never the same when he returned as he has lost his ability to write and be around the crowds, moving his family to the country to work on an anti-war book he ends up building a relationship with his son, which gives him the inspiration for the Winnie the Pooh books. Alan did seem like he was a distant sole that never recovered from the horrors of war. Daphne is the wife of Alan, she loves the busy life with the other high society people, she hates the country and has no idea on parenthood. She uses the new found fame to put the family back in the spotlight not worrying about the consequences. Christopher Robin is the son of the family, he has an open imagination which creates the adventures, he was raised by his nanny, but when the books takes off he becomes an international celebrity that can’t handle the pressure he is put under, taking away part of his childhood. Olive is the nanny that raises Christopher, the two become closer than the parents making her decision to leave all the more difficult.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are good, Domhnall Gleeson does a good job in the leading role as does Margot Robbie giving us a character you just don’t want to like. Will Tilston shines as Christopher with all the innocence needed for the role.

StoryLearning the creation of the Winnie the Pooh characters is what we were expecting here, what we got was the difficult relationship Christopher Robin had with his parents, while Alan could be forgiven because of his PTSD Daphne just comes off clueless to the idea of children. We also see how child stars can struggle with fame and the brand that will follow them for life. This story does lack the spark that could have made it magical but does show a couple of important messages just not in the fullest and most effective way.

Biopic/HistoryThe creature of Winnie the Pooh, a man that suffered the horrors of war but found his happiness in his own son. That is the most part of the biopic and history side of the film, learning how the characters were created together in the small moment of father son time.

SettingsThe settings are good, they show the crowded side of life in the city and the moments of peace in the country showing how the two worlds give different inspiration.


Scene of the Movie –
Pooh Sticks

That Moment That Annoyed Me There should have been that little bit more magic about this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard biopic, it doesn’t hit all the marks to make it great but the performances from the whole cast are good throughout the film.

 

Overall: Watchable biopic that tries to pull on the heart.

Rating

 

 

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Trainspotting (1996)

trainDirector: Danny Boyle

Writer: John Hodge (Screenplay) Irvine Welsh (Novel)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan

 

Plot: Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Drugs Mess Up Lives

 

Story: Trainspotting starts as meet Renton (McGregor) a heroin addict living in Scotland that enjoys the fact that whenever he is high nothing in the world matters. Renton has Spud (Bremner) and Sick Boy (Miller) who join him in the drugs but Tommy (McKidd) and Begbie (Carlyle) along with family telling him he is wasting his life.

Deciding he wants to pack in the drugs Renton goes on his own mission to kick the habit joined by the Sick Boy who can kick it whenever he wants. We see how Renton goes back and forth with his decision to quit as we see how his friend’s fall deeper or even look at new options.

 

Thoughts on Trainspotting

 

StoryThe story of one man’s look for the answers to whether he should quit heroin or not is fascinating because it is how he see what happens in his friend’s lives which can help him make the decision which can save his life. We get some truly shocking glimpses into just how far an addict will go for their next score. We do get the full look at how far the journey is for Renton which will always get compared to Requiem for a Dream for subject matter even though this did come first.

Characters/PerformancesThe characters are all played to what could be called the extremes, we have Renton who is the addict trying to get over his own problems struggling along the way, but it is the fellow characters have their own vices be it the drugs, drink or violence which all gets show through the film. When you look at the performances this is a full cast of impressive performance from start to finish.

SettingsWe have most of the film set in Scotland where we get to see the what can only be described as the poor side of the country and just how they would search for an out of their life.

Final ThoughtsAs I am not the biggest fan of drug related movies I have been avoiding this one for years but with the sequel out this year I went with it. I found it to be everything I thought so I did enjoy the storytelling process and the performances but my personal preference will always lay with Requiem for a Dream.

 

Overall: Brilliant look at how drugs can affect life of one person and the people in it.

Ratingcard

 

 

Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 6 Hated in the Nation

hated-in-the-nationDirector: James Hawes

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Faye Marsay, Benedict Wong, Jonas Karlsson, Joe Armstrong, Elizabeth Berrington

 

Plot: In near-future London, police detective Karin Parke (Kelly McDonald) and her tech-savvy sidekick Blue (Faye Marsay) investigate a string of mysterious deaths with a sinister link to social media.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great New Serial Killer Idea

 

Story: Hated in the Nation starts as we flashback to what had been happening through Karin Parke’s (Macdonald) story, she gets shadowed by Blue (Marsay) with the first victim being a hated public journalist Jo Powers.

When a second celebrity starts getting hate from the nation it starts to become apparent there is some form of serial killer taking out the hated people but it has a connection to how the world is reacting on social media.

Hated in the Nation gives us one of these brilliant crime thrillers as we see how once again social media to show the danger of what we could be putting on it. The selection of who is being targeted is great to see because we needed something like this to show the real fear that can be created in social media issues and how easily it can all become out of control. This is the longest of all of the stories and could easily have been its own feature film rather than just another chapter in this clever selection of stories.

 

Overall: The best all-around film of the series but slightly too long for the casual viewer.

Rating90

 

 

Finding Neverland (2004)

logoDirector: Marc Forster

Writer: David Magee (Screenplay) Allan Knee (Play)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell, Dustin Hoffman, Freddie Highmore, Joe Prospero, Ian Hart, Kelly Macdonald, Mackenzie Crook

 

Plot: The story of J.M. Barrie’s friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Welcome to Neverland

 

Story: Finding Neverland starts by introducing us to J.M. Barrie’s (Depp) newest play which is met by a chorus of displeasure by the audience. Looking for new inspiration he wonders around the park where he stumbles upon Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Winslet) and her four boys Peter (Highmore), Jack, George and Michael. Barrie entertains them in the park along with his dog who he pushes them to challenge their imaginations.

Barrie continues to become friends with the Davies family and amuses the children with his wild tales, while trying to help Peter come out of his shell after his father’s death. As the story continues Barrie pushes Peter to embrace his imagination and along the way finds the perfect idea for his next play. Barrie does have the next idea planned but talking his producer Charles (Hoffman) into giving him another show along with the social question marks about his relationship with the family being questioned is just the start of the problems he must overcome to make one of the greatest stories every told.

Finding Neverland shows us how important imagination is and however bleak a situation is if we open our eyes we might be able to get through it. It is brilliantly told on how something as simple a human kindness can help people suffering with grief in a very personal way can open up to try and get through it. I may not know much about plays of the time period but this idea that Mr Barrie came up with looked like it redefined how people took the theatre experience and that is good to see. In the end this becomes ones of the most touching and easy to watch stories you will see. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Johnny Depp: Sir James Matthew Barrie the play writer who befriends a widow and her four boys, where he gains inspiration for his greatest work. He tries to help the lives of the family while dealing with social awkwardness for the time period. Johnny got one of his Oscar nominations for this role and does a great job as the play write. (10/10)

 johnn and peter

Kate Winslet: Sylvia Llewelyn Davies the widow who along with her children befriends Mr Barrie all while she keeps her mysterious illness secret from her children. Kate does a great job as the struggling widow who knows that her time is short and tries to keep her children happy. (9/10)

 

Julie Christie: Mrs. Emma du Maurier the over baring mother of Sylvia who wants to help her find a new husband to help look at the boys but comes off controlling trying to push Mr Barrie away. Julie does a good job. (8/10)

 

Freddie Highmore: Peter Llewelyn Davies one of the children and the one that is struggling most with the loss of his father, closing himself off from the world and not letting him imagination through. Freddie does a great job in an early role for the rising star. (9/10)

 

Support Cast: Finding Neverland has a cast that revolves around J.M Barrie, be it his wife who feels neglected by him, the other children in the family or the people involved with the theatre work. Each member of the cast helps with the story and does a great job doing so.

 

Director Review: Marc Forster – Marc does a great job directing this film showing how the imagination should work and keeping everything realistic to the time period. (9/10)

 

Biographical: Finding Neverland is a great look at how one of the most iconic plays got written and the man behind it. (9/10)

Drama: Finding Neverland is a perfectly placed drama how the interaction between people can change lives. (9/10)

Settings: Finding Neverland has authentic looking settings throughout, that help bring us into the position the characters are in. (9/10)

Suggestion: Finding Neverland is one to watch, it really is a very special film that shows how simple making movies really are. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Neverland

Worst Part: I always struggle to find a bad thing to say about this film.

Funniest Scene: Dog dance.

Favourite Quote: J.M. Barrie ‘Young boys should never be sent to bed… they always wake up a day older.’

 

Believability: It is inspired by true events. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: You could have some by the end of the film. (5/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Picture. It was also nominated for 6 more Oscar including best Actor for Johnny Depp.

Box Office: $117 Million

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: How far can your imagination take you.

 

Overall: Beautiful Drama From Reality to Neverland

Rating 90