My Problem with Pooh and Christopher Robin too.

Unexpectedly I came to see the (2017) film Goodbye Christopher Robin which tells the tale of the world famous Playwright and Author A.A Milne but most notably as author of Winnie- the Pooh. First published in the wake on the first world war in 1926, the film follows Milne known to his family as Blue as he returns from the first world war with shell shock or what we now may recognise as PTSD. Devastated by his time at the Somme Blue wants to write a book about war, encouraging peace for future generations; but that is not the story that finds him.

goodbye christopher robin.jpg 2

Thanks to the decision to move his young family to the Sussex country side Blue started to spend more time with  his young son known to the family as Billy Moon and his beloved bear affectionately named Edward  (would later be re-named Winne-the-Pooh). I saw a video with the films director and he talks about how Blue and his wife Daphne were very much of their time, how it wasn’t uncommon to have baby and continue on with life as if nothing had happened only seeing the child for half an hour in the morning and evening. Looking at the relationship of Billy, Daphne and Blue through modern eyes is difficult and it is almost impossible not to judge their relationship. Billy Moon has a nanny Nou whom he adores and as the film unfolds I found myself wondering in a house or family like this when a child has so little access to their own parents who is really Billy Moon’s mother is it Daphne or is it Nou?

In later life a grownup Christopher Robin is even quoted when describing Nou as ‘Almost a part of me’ and they remained close for her entire life.

goodbye christopher robin.jpg 3.jpg

Blue and Billy eventually get to bond when both Nou and Daphne are away from the house hold leaving the pair alone together with no choice but to either sink or swim. Blue eventually discovers what a bright and vibrant imagination his son has discovering the names of his favourite toys, which along with Edward Bear included Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore the depressed Donkey. They play together in the long hot summer days just Blue, Billy and his toys and Billy’s imagination that essence of childhood become the inspiration for A.A Milne’s most famous creation, his Winnie the Pooh stories. The Stories were an instant success, lifted up on the back of the tragedy of World War One ‘the country is wounded’ Blue cries to his wife Daphne in the film and with the help of Winnie the Pooh they could remember that life could be good again and life was worth living after all.

goodbye christopher robin.jpg 4

But by writing about his son and his toys  Blue was effectively selling his sons childhood to the masses. The books were an instant stand out success and at one point Christopher Robin who was slowly but surely losing his identity as Billy Moon was named the most famous child in the world. Comparing it not just to today’s standards but famous children throughout history there are very few examples where child stars come off unscathed. Christopher Robin was more famous than his father A.A Milne and his mother was  not only the driving force behind commercialising Milne’s’ books also could see what a commodity her son was becoming. He would do interviews and photographs, signings; all the while Edward Bear had become Pooh and no longer just belonged to him but him and millions of other people all over the world. Billy Moon’s real problems started when he attended boarding school at age nine. It is depicted in the film but the real Christopher Robin had spoken of it many times in his books and interviews over the years that he was consistently bullied for being the child in his father’s books and poems he was pushed kicked and repeatedly pushed down the stairs.  He felt his father had ‘climbed on the back of my infant shoulders’ to forge his career leaving Billy without any identity and with no say in how famous he had become and he was famous for no real reason.

Eventually Billy Moon would shed his Christopher Robin identify all together when he joined the army and became Private Milne. He would survive the war and later marry his first cousin. This would cause great strain on his relationship with his parents one that was already full of emotional entanglements and resentments.

goodbye christopher robin

Daphne and Christopher soon to wife’s father were brother and sister and did not get on and the marriage between the pair further strained his relationship with his mother who was a hard woman at times and is depicted as such in the film. As he grew into a man Christopher seemed to always looking back to his childhood his was filled with a bitter resentment towards the books and what they did to his life and was still angry at his father. He did not speak or see to his father until he was on his death bed and Daphne and Christopher would never reconcile.

Goodbye Christopher Robin did a good job of showing that Daphne and Blue were flawed humans and their relationship with him was fraught. But it ends right when a young Christopher Robin gets home from war, the viewers never gets to know how it ended for the family and how they would never be reconciled. How Christopher would never take a penny from the Winnie the Pooh franchise but eventually when he and his wife had a disabled daughter they were eventually forced to take some money to pay for her care  ‘For Clare’ I read  him say, which is both beautiful that he loved his child in a different way than his he parents loved him but tragic that he had to forgo his principles in the end and his wishes to separate himself from Pooh.

The origin story of Winnie the Pooh is a sad one but it got me thinking about the new Christopher Robin movie to be released this year. (2018) When you’re telling the story of an adult Christopher Robin who famously came to hate Pooh Bear shouldn’t how he really felt about his situation be addressed?

Christopher Robin Movie

I get it, this is Disney and this is the sentimental tripe we love, it has echoes of Robin William’s Hook to me and I’m sure it will be a box office smash. But where does the morality come in? The Little boy Christopher Robin is immortalised in book form destined to be playing with his ‘Silly old Bear’ forever but the adult man who grew up and away from Pooh does he stop mattering cause he’s dead? When did we stop caring about truth? Honestly I think that this movie is a morally bankrupt idea, and yes people will love it because it’s Disney but they will be loving a lie somehow I don’t think I will ever look at Winne- the -Pooh ever the same way again and that’s both a good and a bad thing.

Come Find Me!

Disney Winnie the Pooh

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Instagram

Page to Screen Series: Episode Two- A Cuckoo’s Calling

Hey guys and welcome back to the second episode of my brand new Page to Screen series launched only last week. The basic premise is that I will talk about books that have been adapted for the big and small screen but in a more in-depth way than when I just do a standard review. I don’t hold back in these discussions but I will try and do this as spoiler free as possible as I know many people still have series this on their TBR.

Here is Episode one where I talked about Atonement.

a cuckoo's calling

If you have dropped by my blog in the last week you may have noticed I have mentioned the Cormoran Strike Series a few (okay many) times. It all started when I binged the BBC adaptation and then began reading the first book. As someone who is not really a lover of crime it was a surprise that I have completely falling in love with this series and it’s characters.

Based on the Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling) novel of the same name A Cuckoo’s calling stars Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger they play the one legged private investigator Comoran Strike and his new assistant and temp Robin.

robin strike

Strike is the son of a model and rock star and internally has been dealing with his mothers murder for years he also lost his leg while serving in the army. So when he meets Robin on the morning he and his long time girlfriend Charlotte break up after a blazing row he has been through a lot.

robin ellacott gif

Robin has moved to London to be with her boyfriend Mathew and has been temping, an intelligent university graduate Robin is capable if achieving more than she has been doing and at this point in her life she knows she has been floundering. But it’s only when she walks into Strike’s office and he nearly kills her by knocking her down the stairs that she starts to feel a sense of gravitational pull and knows that working with Strike is where she’s suppose to be.

Although her Fiance Mathew hates her doing the job and that friction is felt between them as he desires her to work in a more corporate environment. The reader can feel his dislike of Strike, it just flies off the page and this has been translated brilliantly on screen. Strike who really is just a quite loner, he lives for the job and is busy building his fledgling business but Mathew dislikes him,  just as much he dislikes the fact that working for him makes Robin a low earner.

comoran strike

Together Strike and Robin have been hired to re-examine the case of Luna Landry a model at the height of her fame when it appeared she jumped from her penthouse. The Celebrity world comes easy to Strike and washes over him like nothing but it’s exciting for Robin moving in these glamours but ultimately tragic circles.

Luna, it’s reveled was adopted and had been investigating her biological family and for a time it’s thought that this could be the reason for her death.

Luna Landry

I really like Rowling’s writing for adults, I’ve said before that Harry Potter wasn’t really part of my childhood it somehow managed to pass me by until about three years ago when I read the whole series. I should say I enjoyed the Harry Potter books but I think when you consume something whether that be books or music or movies as a child or in your teens it has a different effect on you than when you just  experience it as an adult, a huge part of that is the nostalgia factor.

a cuckoo's calling.jpg 2

Reading Rowling’s writing as Robert Galbraith has been a really lovely experience she invokes some interesting discussions including race and disability. I am thrilled that the Strike series is continuing with the adaptation of Lethal White I just hope the book comes out soon!

I hope you enjoyed Episode two of my page to screen series, I love reading your comments especially if you have opinions on the books or the series, I’ll see you next time!

Come find me!

american gods.jpg 5

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Instagram

International Women’s Day- Favourite Ladies in Literature 2018

Hello everyone and happy International Women’s day! All the way back in 2016 I wrote a post for International Women’s day on my Favourite Fictional Females, in 2017 I decided not to do the same list because I didn’t think it could have grown or changed that much from 2016.

This year I am giving the list another go, with fresh eyes and newly acquired reading habits and although I have gone over my list from 2016 and I still stand by all the ladies on that list I just want to add a few more. I always like to hear what you guys think and any ladies you think should have made my lists and haven’t.

Robin Ellecott – The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

 

From going over my 2016 list I realised how heavily my lists are influenced by what I’m reading at the time and Robin is a perfect example of that as I’m currently reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (not that that means she doesn’t deserve to make this years list!) cause she does, she’s awesome.

Robin is a strong and Independent woman  who has had some bumpy roads in life, her career has taken and nose dive and although she doesn’t know it she’s in a relationship with the wrong man. Robin is all about fighting for what she wants and she wants a career, she wants to be a PI and although she took some wrong turns and dark corners that have lead her the wrong way she is fighting for the life she wants and deserves. She’s brilliant, a power house and above all a great detective.

Lou Clarke- Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

 

I am such a long time Me Before You fan and Lou fan, Lou is full of heart right down to her core. She loves her family wants to do the best she can for them, she’s a little lost though which makes her totally relatable. Lou’s self discovery and love and eventual  loss of Will makes her one of my favourite characters.

Me Before You- Book Review

Demelza Poldark- Poldark Series by Winston Graham

 

Ahh Demelza, anyone hate Ross as much as I do? I mean seriously what was that guy playing at? Demelza is brilliant she is strong and fiery, she was a poor girl who came from nothing, a father who beat her and left her half starved but this eventually lead her to Ross her future husband… I don’t want to spoil the series for anyone who hasn’t read it or watched it but the woman can handle herself and she needs to cause she’s going to go through some seriously tough times- all hail Demelza Poldark.

Catherine Earnshaw – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 

Wuthering heights cathy 2009

Oh how we all love to hate Kathy Earnshaw, one of the most self indulgent and selfish characters ever written. But Kathy was strong, wild passionate and a free thinking individual. What ever you think of her life choices and some of her questionable decisions and motives no one can question Kathy’s strength of heart.

Dolly – Cheerful Weather For the Wedding by Julia Strachey 

 

When we meet Dolly it’s her wedding day and she is decided whether or not to marry her fiance while her former lover waits to talk to her desperate to talk to her but he is trapped downstairs while she locks herself in her bedroom drinking in her wedding dress. Dolly is a great example of the tragedies that can befall us in adult hood especially if we don’t know which choice to make.  Dolly is also a woman who I think we have seen many times before if real life, the lines between reality and fantasy are just a little blurred and she doesn’t realise till it’s to late how damaging that can be.

My full review of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding 

So I hope you enjoyed my choices for International Women’s day, hope you’ve all had a good day and I’ll see you next time!

Come find me!

lou

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

The Fault in Our Stars – Movie Review

If you follow me on Twitter (@chloemckayyy) you might have seen me tweeting about The Fault in Our Stars today. I have had a couple of (well deserved) days of work and a few of my friends and I got together and decided to have a bit of a movie marathon starting with The Fault in Our Stars.

the fault.jpg

Now I have been putting on The Fault in Our Stars for a while now (both book and movie, I’m still yet to read the book), sometimes I do this when books get a bit over hyped I start off wanting to read it and at some point when the hype just goes seriously insane my interest wanes and the book goes on my probably not going to read anytime soon TBR.

But I have to say watching the film adaptation has totally changed my mind and I have already ordered myself a copy of the novel by John Green.

Synopsis of the film (and book)…

fault-5

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

When you go into a film knowing you are watching a story about two young people with cancer the emotional heights can be high (tissues at the ready anyone?)

I loved the book (not the film) My Sister Keeper by Jodi Picoult so had that sort of in the back of my mind when going into The Fault in Our Stars, they were absolutely NOTHING alike but both just as brilliant.

the fault.jpg 4.gif

What I loved about this film aside from the fabulous acting, the story does the amazing job of telling a love story but also a really unfair love story. This isn’t just a story of two teenagers who fall in love this is a story of the realities of life and sometimes, although we don’t like to think about it, life can be absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. We can laugh, we can love, be kind and a terrible disease can rip all those things away from us, us and the ones we love and who love us.

fault 6.jpg

This film didn’t hold back, and I’m sure a huge part of that was due to the author of the novel John Green. When a story is sad the easy thing to do is to say, don’t worry everything is going to be alright, or give the characters a happy ending. That doesn’t happen here and that is so brave.

The pay off for me as a viewer was, firstly I have ordered the book and can’t wait to read it to compare it the film, I should also say that I didn’t just wipe a couple of tears away while watching this movie I wept, I sobbed uncontrollably. I fell in love with these characters and when you love with something you wish there was a better way, but there are real people out there who have to deal with these issues, so when it comes to this film and this ending I really feel there was no better way.

Okay?

Okay.

I hope you enjoyed my The Fault in Our Stars Review, see you next time!

Rose 2.gif

Come Find Me

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Watt Pad

Me Before You – Movie Adaptation- Poster Reveal!

Anyone who reads my blog knows I am a huge fan of the book Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes and one of the most exciting things for a reader is when one of your favourite books gets adapted to film.

Of course there is always the nerves and worries, the questions- Is it going to be a faithful adaptation? Am I going to like the cast? The list goes on.

So, as Me Before is one of my favourite books I have followed the slow progress and bits of information that we have found out along the way. So hear is a basic run down on Me Before You so far. As well as a poster reveal and our first real look at Clark and Will and that red dress all in anticipation of the trailer reveal tomorrow!

The Cast

Emilia Clark and Sam Claflin are  Louisa Clarke and Will Traynor.

Emilia and Sam really match how I picture Will and Lou in my head and after seeing a few shots from filming I am really excited to see the movie.

Louisa’s boyfriend Patrick  is being played by Harry Potter’s Mathew Lewis and Will’s Carer Nathan by Home and Away’s Stephen Peacocke.

Here are a few shots from the making of the movie to get you in the mood.

If that’s still not getting you fangirling than take a look at the Me Before you Poster which dropped today, keep an eye on my blog tomorrow from a trailer breakdown and review after it drops tomorrow.

me before you poster

Check out Emilia/Lou in that red dress! I can’t wait to see the trailer and can’t wait to see the movie comes out this March.

Happy reading everyone!

Graham

 

Shadowhunters (The Mortal Instruments) TV Show vs Movie

I am a huge Cassandra Clare fan and love The Mortal Instruments books so way back when (2013) The City of Bones movie burst onto our screens I was filled with hope, excitement, joy but as we all know (or you do if you’re a fan) it didn’t work out so well.

the mortal instruments the mortal instruments.jpg 2

My big problem with any book to movie adaptation is when they don’t follow they book – it doesn’t have to be to the letter, I know something’s don’t translate from page to screen BUT with something as complicated as The Shadow Hunter Chronicles and having to keep in mind a prequel series like The Infernal Devices keeping the original text in mind, and sticking to it as much as possible is a good idea (it is popular for a reason).

the mortal instruments.jpg 13 the mortal instruments.jpg 14

Lily Collins and Katherine McNamara as Clary

I do really like Lily Collins as Clary and I know this is controversial but I do like Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace so I wanted to briefly have a look at the new cast and chat about the teasers that have been released so far and THAT pilot  preview that’s been released online.

the mortal instruments.jpg 6 the mortal instruments.jpg 15

Jamie Cambell Bower and Dominic Sherwood as Jace

I saw a preview of the up and coming Shadowhunters which is going to be broadcast on ABC family soon to be rebranded as Freedform. Which is interesting in it’s self- hopefully the channel will be less ‘family’ and will have the freedom to make its shows appeal to all audiences not just the family audience. I hope so, mainly because I think some of the later content of the Shadowhunters books requires some leniency when it comes to what is considered ‘mature content.’

the mortal instruments.jpg 7 the mortal instruments.jpg 8

Robert Sheehan and Alberto Rosende as Simon

I think the casting choices are interesting, most people are going to be happy with Jace and Clary visually they look closer to how they did in the books which is a positive step forward. For me personally though Lily Collins is a talented actress and although the film wasn’t great she really did pull off a great Clary. When it comes to Jace, the most important thing for me is that his attitude is displayed correctly, he has such great one liners in the books and his back and forth with Simon is brilliant if they get that right that’s a real positive step forward to success.

the mortal instruments.jpg 9 the mortal instruments.jpg 10

Matthew Daddario and Kevin Zeggers as Alec

The pilot snippet and two teasers have been released so far if you haven’t seen them they are all available on Youtube, I don’t want to make judgements because as a fan I would love Shadowhunters to be a long running success but from what I have seen it looks a bit Vampire Academy to me which makes me think they might be going for the funny, cringe, slap stick angle rather than dark with underlying humour. Just going to have to wait and see!

the mortal instruments.jpg 11 the mortal instruments.jpg 12

Godfrey Gao and Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus

So to round up casting, so far looks good, I have only mentioned and pictured my favourite characters in this post but may go on to do a full casting post. Harry Shum Jr. is my favourite casting so far I think he is going to make a brilliant Magnus and can’t wait to see him bring the wonderful Warlock to life! Basically I can’t wait and I’m going to have to re-read City of Bones before January 2016 to get Shadowhunters ready. What to you think of the Shadowhunters casting, love the movie? Hate the movie? Do you think a successful adaptation can be done? Fangirl in the comments!

britney

Happy Reading! x

Testament Of Youth – Film Review

Testament Of Youth is the story of Vera Brittan, adapted from her war memoir of the same name; many claim Vera’s book  to be the best documentation of the First World War that has ever been written. Testament of Youth is the horrors of the First World War told from a woman’s perspective and the terrible reality of being the one left behind.

alicia vikander animated GIF

The film follows Vera (Alicia Vikander) who is desperate to go to Oxford University with her brother Edward and their friends Victor Richardson and Roland Leighton. Edward begs his father to allow Vera to take the interviews and exams and after much negotiating he agrees, she is accepted. Ecstatic to be able to study at such a prestigious institution alongside her friends she makes plans for her future and intends to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.

alicia vikander animated GIF

It is during her last summer before starting Oxford that Vera begins a romance with Roland ( Kit Harrington) they have everything in common their love of literature and a shared respect for women’s rights, but then the war happens. Roland, enlists followed by her beloved brother Edward (Taron Egerton) and soon after Vera’s best friend Victor (Colin Morgan) is drafted and she is all alone and she knows he can no longer study at Oxford she must do something. She cannot stay buried in books when her boys are fighting for their lives.

Alicia Vikander Kit Harington animated GIF

A beautiful story of the lost generation Vera’s life from the moment the war started was immersed in tragedy. If you don’t know what happened to Vera and the boys I won’t spoil it for you but this film really showed the horrors of the First World War. Not in a gruesome way that we often see in Hollywood films but in passionate heart felt way, what it must have felt like to be female to have loved ones in mortal peril and have very little you could do about it.

This story is tragic, poignant and I hope Vera, Roland, Edward and Victor are never forgotten,

5/5 Stars