‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’: Following ‘Finding Neverland’ on road to Oscar

“Goodbye Christoper Robin” tells the story behind the creation of one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature, Winnie the Pooh. Rising Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson portrays writer A.A. Milne, Aussie import Margot Robbie is his aristocratic wife Daphne de Sélincourt and Will Tilston is their son, Christopher Robin, who has fame thrust upon him when he is featured in the bestselling books. This Fox Searchlight Pictures release is out stateside on Oct. 10 .

Simon Curtis‘ film is reminiscent of Marc Forster‘s 2004 Oscar contender “Finding Neverland,” which recounted the creation of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Both films revolve around an author and his relationship with a young boy, who inspires him to write his career-defining work at low point in his life.

“Finding Neverland” reaped seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and won for Best Score. A period piece like “Finding Christopher Robin,” it also contended for both costume and production design as well as adapted screenplay and film editing. And Johnny Depp, who portrayed Barrie, earned a Best Actor bid.

Gleeson could well find himself in contention as well. As with Depp, he transforms himself into an upper-crust Englishman who represses most of his emotions. He featured in two recent Oscar Best Picture nominees (“Brooklyn,” “The Revenant”) as well as the blockbuster “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” franchises. That hot streak is reminiscent of that of Tom Hardy, his co-star in “The Revenant” who netted his first Oscar bid for that film.

BAFTA-nominated writer Frank Cottrell Boyce (“Hillary and Jackie”) and Simon Vaughan tell the fascinating story of Milne, a WWI veteran struggling with PTSD, who creates the most celebrated escapist fare of his time to deal with his own difficulties. While he rises to great heights, his son suffers from his own newfound fame.

Goodbye Christopher Robin” is set primarily in the countryside of mid 20th century England, which affords Emmy-winning production designer David Roger (“Great Expectations”) a chance to recreate some beautiful interiors. Likewise, Emmy-winning cinematographer Ben Smithard (“Cranford”) frames some stunning shots of the sweeping landscapes. Another Emmy winner, Odile Dicks-Mireaux (“The Lost Prince”), has fashioned the sort of smart, stylish period clothes that often appeal to Oscar voters. And the evocative score by Oscar nominee Carter Burwell (“Carol”) is also a strong contender.

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.


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