19 items from 2017
A Monster Calls went into the Goya Awards on Saturday night (Feb 4) with 12 nominations and ended up taking home nine prizes from the Spanish Film Academy, including best director for Juan Antonio Bayona.
Scroll down for full list of winners
The director, just weeks away from starting shoot on a Jurassic World sequel, was visibly moved with the film’s performance, not only when he took to the stage to collect his Goya for best director, but also when his collaborators on the film did so for the film’s other eight wins of the night, including best cinematography, special effects, sound and production design.
With a box office of $28.6m (€26.5m), A Monster Calls was the biggest film in Spain last year.
The Fury Of A Patient Man director [link=nm »
Look at you, in your little circle. Pretending to be heroes and never expecting to pay a price.
‘The Lost’ proves to be a disappointing finale to Class – one that, ultimately, is unable to deliver upon the promise of the series as a whole, and leaves the show’s future looking rather uncertain.
In some ways, the flaws of ‘The Lost’ are part of broader, systemic weakness with Class, which one episode was unlikely to be able to escape the weight of, or remedy on its own. Once again, the Shadowkin prove to be an issue; they have, frankly, never worked. Not in the opening episode, nor the two-parter event episodes, and not now, in the finale. It’s largely because they’re such simplistic villains; evil in an ill-defined yet cliché manner, just because they are, »
- Alex Moreland
At some point today, should everything go according to plan, there will come a moment… when you start to believe.
This episode is interesting primarily because of how different it is from the average episode of Class.
Consider the difference between this episode and the last; in many ways they represent the two most extreme ends of the spectrum of what Class can be. Where ‘Detained’ was very much about our younger characters, and set solely within Coal Hill, ‘The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did’ goes very much in the opposite direction. It’s set predominantly on alien planets, focuses primarily on Quill, and even has its own supporting cast. In many ways, ‘The Metaphysical Engine’ is an episode of Class which could well come from another show entirely; perhaps, but not quite, the closest that Class »
- Alex Moreland
Alex Moreland reviews the sixth episode of Class…
The truth came clear and had to be said.
Nothing about this episode should work.
It’s a bottle episode, restricted to one setting, and relies on the fairly simplistic, even cliché, premise of the gang being put in detention. The central conceit – a rock that prompts the characters to tell the truth – is seemingly little more than a piece of pure artifice.
There was, at the outset, every danger that this episode would prove to be the one that brought the tower of cards tumbling down – a piece of filler that couldn’t meet the quality of the episodes around it.
Rather surprisingly, though, ‘Detained’ proved to be the best episode of Class yet – possibly the closest it’s come to a genuinely resounding classic that could stand alongside the best of Doctor Who.
In many ways, it’s because this »
- Alex Moreland
J.A. Bayona‘s latest film packs a heavy punch. Bayona’s adaptation of author and screenwriter Patrick Ness‘ novel is a pure tearjerker, a movie that mixes the grand with the intimate. The film follows a young boy (Lewis MacDougall) struggling with his mother’s terminal illness. In need of help, he calls upon a monster (Liam Neeson), a […]
- Jack Giroux
Most box office prognosticators presumed that Disney and LucasFilm's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would have no trouble winning the last few weeks of 2016, along with the first few weeks of 2016. So far, that prediction has come true, with the Star Wars spin-off winning the last three weeks of 2016, and now the first weekend of 2017, but just barely. Rogue One came out on top with $21.9 million, just barely beating Hidden Figures which expanded nationwide to earn $21.8 million. Since these movies are so close together, they may switch places when the actual figures are released tomorrow, but we'll have to want and see.
Box Office Mojo reports that the only new movie opening in wide release, Underworld 5, starring Kate Beckinsale as Selene, opened in 3,070 theaters, which is much higher than the estimated 2,300 theaters it was expected to open in, with Hidden Figures expanding into 2,471 theaters, an increase of 2,446 theaters. Another movie expanding nationwide, »
A Monster Calls, 2016.
Directed by J.A Bayona.
A boy seeks the help of a Tree monster to help his mother with her terminal illness.
Here is a swift foolproof process on how to determine whether or not someone has a soul: Show them A Monster Calls, and if they are deeply moved, then all is right. If they feel nothing, smack that person across the face. Or just politely ask “what the f***is wrong with you”.
Based on the novel of the same name by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls sees director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage) covering heavy material and themes he is no stranger to, this time with a giant humanoid Lian Neeson voiced yew tree monster. The titular Monster visits young Conor (Lewis MacDougall) every night at 12:07 Am sharp with »
- Robert Kojder
A piercing sadness runs through this impressive adaptation, by Patrick Ness, of his acclaimed young adult novel. You ache for Conor, the 13-year-old boy at the heart of the story, as he struggles to process bereavement. You will be likely to weep with him as he comes to terms with the loss of his mother. This emotional authenticity, the palpable pain in a remarkable central performance from relative newcomer Lewis MacDougall, is both the film’s main asset and a factor that makes it a tough sell. This is not just a film about grief; it’s a film that immerses you in grief’s journey.
- Wendy Ide
Chicago – The nature of dying, especially in process with a close loved one, is a testing ground for unwieldy and alien emotions. When, why and how we’re challenged does not have a timetable, nor a convenience. All of this is played out as fantasy in the vital “A Monster Calls.”
The origin of this story, which began life as a novel, even traces its source to a situation with dying. The conceiver of the story, Siobhan Dowd, was a terminal patient and passed away before she could write it. The novel was formulated and completed by Patrick Ness – who also wrote the screenplay for the film version. It is a very unusual type of fantasy, in which a monster is sprung from a tree, and visits a young boy whose mother is dying. It’s full of that grief, symbolism and the nature of our own reaction to the inevitable. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
A Monster Calls, 2016.
Directed by J.A. Bayona.
A young boy struggling to come to terms with his mother’s terminal illness is visited by a talking yew tree that tells him stories.
With his first two films (The Orphanage and The Impossible) director J.A. Bayona proved himself adept at tackling emotional material that didn’t shy away from harsh realities and dark situations, and his third feature continues that trend. Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is a young boy with a young mum (Felicity Jones) who is battling terminal cancer and running out of treatment options, a situation not made easier by an overbearing grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and a group of boys who are bullying him at school. Then one night he is visited in a dream by a walking, talking yew tree that says he will tell Conor three stories, »
- Amie Cranswick
Okay you “horror-hounds”, just put the brakes on. Despite the “M” word in this film’s title, this is not a “creature-centric” rehash of the 70’s stalker classic When A Stranger Calls. This is actually a sensitive look at one young lad’s difficult pre-teen years. And he’s not just dealing with skin problems or vocal changes, but a major family tragedy. Why the title monster? Perhaps he’s an allegory, a towering stand-in for the boy’s, nearly insurmountable future. Or this “beastie” may be his “bestie”, a friend he desperately needs. In Hollywood’s golden age it was thought that children would be repulsed and horrified by Frankenstein’s monster and his ilk, but when their stories became TV staples in the late 1950’s , the lil’ ones embraced them. They weren’t villains, but heroes (or anti-heroes) to youngsters (giving birth to the “monster kid” phenom). Just as with the superheroes, »
- Jim Batts
When is a kids movie not for kids? Well, it doesn’t happen often, but Patrick Ness’ screen adaptation by of his award-winning children’s novel A Monster Calls is not for the little ones at all, or maybe even the semi-little ones. This story of 15-year-old Connor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is a decidedly dark and often disturbing experience, and I’m not just talking about the monster here. Connor is dealing with a lot. His young mother (Felicity Jones) is dying from… »
Spanish director J.A. Bayona was rather unlucky when it came to his big push into American theaters, The Impossible, because it wasn’t a story that actually fit his abilities. It’s serviceable direction, if an ultimately unengaging story, but it screams of something like Wes Anderson trying to direct Sully.
A Monster Calls is a fairy tale, and one that is provocative and depressing while trying to deconstruct difficult hideaways of the human mind, and that’s something Bayona knows how to work with. He constructs wild imaginings, whether special effects are in play at the moment or not, without going too far or not far enough, which is more difficult than it might seem.
Most importantly Bayona weaves the narrative together here with a complex mix of familiar and outlandish notes that struggle against themselves, adding to the ability to relate to our hero’s circumstance.
Based on the novel by Patrick Ness, »
- Marc Eastman
Felicity Jones and the cast of A Monster Calls talk their heart-warming children's storyFelicity Jones and the cast of A Monster Calls talk their heart-warming children's storyAdriana Floridia1/5/2017 10:05:00 Am
The film stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson and newcomer Lewis MacDougall. Directed by J.A. Bayona, who is best known for the disaster film The Impossible, A Monster Calls is a metaphorical vision of grieving, but also of the many different ways we can cope with a difficult situation, and the hope that pulls us through.
- Adriana Floridia
Grief is something that we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. Like a number of recent films that use fantasy conventions to process themes of mortality and emotional upheaval, A Monster Calls makes its thunderous impact feel real. The earth shakes, heavy breathing is heard, pencils roll off on their own and the rage and sadness of a little boy is made monstrous.
J.A. Bayona's third feature is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Patrick Ness, Jim Kay and the late Siobhan Dowd, and tells the story of Conor O'Malley (Lewis MacDougall), a 12-year-old boy coming to terms with his mother's long-term illness. Lizzie (Felicity Jones) has always understood him and been there for him, while his absent father (Toby Kebbell) and distant grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) have not. »
MaryAnn’s quick take… A fairy tale of the Grimm sort: no happy ending, no heroes or villains, just hard truths about life and human nature. Important, beautiful, heartbreaking. I’m “biast” (pro): big fantasy fan
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
This is my big worry re A Monster Calls: people who don’t read reviews will hear only that this is a fantasy movie based on a young-adult novel and presume that it is a kiddie movie. And then they will freak out when they discover how dark and angry and bitter and oh-so un-fairy-tale it is, how it gave the little ones scary dreams and why didn’t someone tell them? And a movie that is important and beautiful and heartbreaking will be unfairly maligned.
So be warned: This is not The Bfg. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
When you mix genres and filmmaking styles, you always run the risk of things not gelling together properly. This week, director J.A. Bayona avoided that with his top notch new movie A Monster Calls. Out previously for its Oscar qualifying run on Christmas weekend before a general release in a few days, the film seeks to be an unusual Academy Award player. It has an uphill battle, but there’s always the possibility of a surprise. This is the sort of thing that probably will be almost shut out, precursor wise, but you need to keep in the back of your head for nomination morning. The more voters who see and are affected by it, the better a chance it has to shock on the big day. The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Patrick Ness (based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd). It »
- Joey Magidson
Long before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters last month, most box office analysts predicted that it would have no trouble winning the last three weeks in a row of 2016, with its reign possibly stretching into 2017 as well. So far, the analysts have been right, with Rogue One recently overtaking Captain America: Civil War as the second highest grossing movie at the domestic box office ($439.7 million) and seventh highest at the worldwide box office ($789.7 million). Entering its fourth weekend in theaters, it will go up against Sony's Underworld: Blood Wars as the only new movie in wide release, with limited release titles A Monster Calls and Hidden Figures also expanding nationwide. Even with this new competition, we're predicting that Rogue One will still find a way to end up on top of the box office heap this weekend.
Even with this influx of new competition, following a weekend »
Literary and cinematic works are not only creative forms of entertainment that distract audiences from the trials and tribulations of life; they also serve as relatable pieces of art that accurately reflect the true emotional journeys that everyone experiences. The acclaimed new fantasy drama, ‘A Monster Calls,’ takes the feelings of all of its characters, […]
- Karen Benardello
19 items from 2017
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