February 19, 2019

Christopher Robin (2018)

Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael

How do I adore this movie? Let me count the ways.

No seriously. I rented this movie, watched it, then watched it again before the rental expired. I loved it that much.

How much of that is due to cheerful memories of Winnie the Pooh is hard to say. Where Mary Poppins Returns fell flat for me due to a lack of connection to the original material, this movie hit all my favorite nostalgia points. And the movie is oh-so-clever about it. The entire film is littered with references to past Winnie the Pooh moments, which I love because it's enjoyable even if this is your first film with the characters, but adds a layer of depth if it's not.

And of course, Ewan McGregor. I LOVE Ewan McGregor. I'm not sure how it's possible not to. But even if I didn't, I'm convinced there needs to be a separate category of awards for people who act with imaginary objects that are CGI-ed in later. He does such a good job. To make us feel a real connection with these stuffed animals, and care about them the way we do, is a triumph. 

But even beyond all that, nearly everything in this movie is flawless. The acting, especially from Bronte Carmichael, is wonderful. (And you know how I feel about child actors.) The animation of the animals, which I was definitely skeptical of going in, was also wonderful. (Though I have some lingering questions about why all of them were stuffed animals but Rabbit was an actual bunny.) Even the production design, set in what looks to be the 1920's, is well executed. 

Overall, this movie mixes just the right amount of nostalgia with sweet charm and comedy at exactly the right moments. And as much as the industry overuses this word, there's not better way to describe the movie than heartwarming.

Now excuse me while I go watch it a third time.

Final word: I'm shocked this movie didn't receive more buzz.

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