Cert PG 107mins Stars 4
If you go down to 100 Acre wood today you’re in for a wonderful surprise.
This terrific family film explores how playwright A. A. Milne came to create his loveable honey loving bear, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Filmed in suitably honey coloured glow and melting with sweetness, this is a warm and sentimental homage to the author and his most famous creation.
Remaining hugely popular since being published in 1926, the stories were inspired by the writer’s son and his menagerie of stuffed animal toys.
Father and son have a humorous though sometimes fraught relationship which matures as the Second World War looms with a melancholy menace.
Having experienced the horrors of the Somme in the First World War, Milne retires to a farmhouse where struggling with writers block he begins spending time with his son, Christopher Robin.
He’s known to the family by the nickname Billy Moon, and young actor Will Tilston is a newly discovered treasure.
Domhnall Gleeson is his usual excellent self as the PTSD sufferer learning to be a father. You have to pinch yourself to remember he’s acting.
Plus he cuts a dash in his three piece suits and blonde Lawrence of Arabia hairstyle, and it must be a pleasant step up from his usual supporting roles.
Aussie actress Margot Robbie struggles to maintain a convincing accent as his society wife, Daphne. However she is otherwise excellent and game to be frequently unsympathetic.
100 Acre wood is an idyllic adventure playground and the film is a hymn to the stunning rural beauty of England. There are lovely touches of magical realism such as we saw in the recent adaptation of Paddington, which has a similar charm.
Grand claims about how the best selling books gave the whole nation a lift after the Great War must be taken with a measure of scepticism, as 1926 was also the year of the General Strike.
However we can forgive the scriptwriters for their indulgence when they serve up a treat as delightful as this.