A Bear Named Winnie

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If COVID-19 or police oppression has got you down and you’re in need of some frivolous escapism, if you find yourself in the mood for a saccharine adventure film, look no further than A Bear Named Winnie (2004). For about an hour of this ninety minute Canadian TV movie you get to watch Michael Fassbender cuddle and play with a bear cub. It’s a real cub too, not the kind of CGI critter that Leonardo DiCaprio and Harrison Ford have been seen hobnobbing with. A Bear Named Winnie goes from high camp to Hallmark schmaltz and back again with a carefree abandon as it reenacts the true story behind the bear that inspired A.A. Milne to write his classic children’s stories.

The cast is pretty amazing too, even if they are just hamming it up. In addition to a baby-faced Fassbender the film also features favorites like Stephen Fry, David Suchet, and Shawn Ashton (Iceman first met Magneto during WWI?). Then there’s Gil Bellows (Billy on Ally McBeal) mustachioed and perpetually jogging and saluting people. I’m not going to lie, despite this cast, A Bear Named Winnie really has no redeeming aesthetic qualities (unless you’re a sucker for slo-mo pans over trees).

But if you’re feeling down, like the whole world has gone to hell and there is nothing you can do, check out A Bear Named Winnie. Revel in the cuddles a little. You can find this title on Kanopy and on youtube.