Tag Archives: mark gatiss

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018) – My rating: 8/10

Christopher Robin is a fantasy comedy-drama directed by Marc Forster and written by Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy, and Allison Schroeder, from a story by Greg Brooker and Mark Steven Johnson. The film is inspired by A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard’s book Winnie-the-Pooh and is a live-action/CGI adaptation of the Disney franchise of the same name. The story follows an adult Christopher Robin as he has lost his sense of imagination, only to be reunited with his old stuffed bear friend, Winnie-the-Pooh and friends. I wasn’t thrilled with this film but found it cute as far as stories for children go. I also found the visual and special effects to be excellent! A working-class family man, Christopher Robin, encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life.

A young Christopher Robin (Orton O’Brien – young / Ewan McGregor – grown up) is leaving for boarding school, so his imaginary friends, Winnie the Pooh / Tigger (Jim Cummings), Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Eeyore (Brad Garrett), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo), Roo (Sara Sheen), Owl (Toby Jones), and Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), all from the Hundred Acre Wood – threw him a goodbye party. Christopher comforts Pooh and tells him that he will never forget him. Christopher then leaves to go off to boarding school where he grows up, meets and marries an architect named Evelyn (Hayley Atwell), with whom he has daughter named Madeline (Elsa Minell Solak – young /Bronte Carmichael – older). In addition, he serves in the British Army during World War II. After the war, he works as an efficiency expert at Winslow Luggages.

Christopher’s demanding job position causes him to neglect his family, additionally, he has also decided to send his daughter, Madeline, to boarding school. With the company hitting hard times, Christopher’s boss Giles Winslow Jr. (Mark Gatiss) orders him to decrease expenditures by 20%, largely by choosing which employees to lay off, and to present his decisions by Monday morning. This causes additional neglect to Christopher’s family, who he has weekend plans with for a get-away at their countryside cottage, in Sussex.

Meanwhile back at Hundred Acre Wood, Pooh awakens and is unable to find his friends, so he decides to travel through Christopher’s door and finds himself in London. He reunites with Christopher as a grown-up, who is shocked to see Pooh and takes him to his London home. After a night and morning of chaos, Christopher escorts the bear back to Sussex, on the next train.

Christopher Robin’s adventure is just beginning.  This film is a well put together story that will delight children everywhere.  The Visual Effects are outstanding and the acting is brilliant.  I think Christopher Robin will be a worthy use of your time.  Check It Out!

[Christopher Robin is Oscar nominated for Best Visual Effects]



THE FAVOURITE (2018) – My rating: 9.5/10

The Favourite is a period piece and a comedy-drama directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. It is a co-production by producers in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Set in the early 18th century, the story examines the relationship between two cousins vying to be court favourites of Queen Anne. The American Film Institute selected The Favourite as one of its top 10 films of 2018. Among other accolades, the film received five Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. My favorite category (no pun intended) of motion pictures to watch is a period piece. I’m more than glad I got to see The Favourite — It was brilliant.

In 1708, Britain is at war with France and a somewhat weakened Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman) is on the throne. Having been ill for some time, Queen Anne is frail and shows little interest in governing, instead she races ducks and plays with her 17 rabbits, each of which represents a child she has lost over the years. Her confidante, adviser and furtive lover, Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), the Duchess of Marlborough, effectively rules the country through her influence on the eccentric Queen. Sarah’s efforts to control Anne are undermined only by Robert Harley (Nicholas Hoult), a Tory Member of Parliament and the 1st Earl of Oxford, who as a landowner, argues against a doubling of property taxes proposed in order to fund the war.  Life is good for Sarah.

****  SPOILERS BELOW  ****

Change comes when Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), Sarah’s impoverished younger cousin, arrives at Court in search of employment. Abigail’s standing is tainted by her father, who gambled away his good name and lost his daughter to a German in a card game. Abigail is initially forced to do menial work as a scullery maid in the palace, but after seeing the Queen’s condition, she fines an opportunity to ingratiate herself with Sarah and eventually, Queen Anne herself. Sarah picks herbs from the garden and formulates a paste to heal the Queen’s inflamed legs. Though she is initially punished by Sarah for her presumptuous actions, Sarah relents when she realises the remedy does ease the Queen’s suffering. In gratitude, Sarah makes Abigail her lady of the bedchamber.  In the meanwhile, Harley approaches Abigail, hoping to use her as a spy in order to find out what Sarah’s schemes are and figure out a way to circumvent her authority. Abigail initially rebuffs him, but soon she becomes aware of the secret lesbian relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah.

At this point the fun really begins, Sarah vs  Abigail vs Queen Anne.  I cannot say enough about the goings on in The Favourite palace.  I was thoroughly entertained.  I haven’t seen a period piece as lively, clever and as well executed since the 1988 movie, Dangerous Liaisons.  I don’t want to give away the whole movie, so I’ll stop here and hope that you will see it for yourself.  It’s no wonder The Favourite won so many awards and nominations, it’s brilliant.  There are quite a few twist and turns that you won’t see coming.  Who will win the controlling position between Sarah and Abigail?  My only criticism is the ending, which left me a little confused.  I would have liked the final action defined so that what was happening would be perfectly clear and not ambiguous or left to the imagination. At any rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Favourite takes home a few Oscars.  BTW: Olivia Colman won the Golden Globe for Best Actress — Check it Out!

[The Favourite is Oscar nominated for Best:  Picture, Actress, 2 Supporting Actress nominations, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design, Custome Design and Film Editing]