A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.
The monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Connor, and it asks for the one thing Connor cannot bring himself to do. Tell the truth. This is a very touching story about a boy who feels very damaged, guilty and mostly angry. He struggles at school with bullies, and pity looks from everyone, and at home with his mother's sickness. Will Connor overcome his problems? Will everything be okay? Will Connor be able to speak the truth?
The scene where Conor stands by the gate looking up the hill was filmed at Rivington Pike in Chorley, Lancashire. In the scene, the pike setting has been altered for the purposes of the film. See more »
Conor and his mom watch a 16mm print of the original "King Kong." But when she threads the projector, we can clearly see the film is color, not black-and-white. See more »
Composed and Performed by For Fiesta
Voice by Lluís Segura
Bass by David Gallart
Drums: Marc Prades
Bass & Drums by Bernat Vilaplana
Guitar by Bernat Vilaplana
Soulphone by Marc Gómez del Moral See more »
The first thing I have to say about 'A Monster Calls' is that you should steer clear of any trailers or marketing for this film. It may be hard to avoid it because it feels like it's everywhere right now. In front of various YouTube videos, almost every movie, and endless commercials promoting it as a sappy feel good movie. Yet upon seeing the film, what it's actually about is a child growing up. Of course, we have seen the countless coming of age stories that are very bland and by the numbers. And while this one is that, it's only that to an extent. The reason that clichés and tropes exist is because, if done well, they work very well. It's when they are just forced in that they become annoying.
That's what's great about 'A Monster Calls'. It acknowledges the clichés they are using and makes them feel necessary to the story. The story here revolves around a boy that gets pushed around and is just a sad young man. His mom is very sick and he has to kind of take care of himself while also taking care of her. The thing that most films like this get wrong is that they show everything happening around the young kid instead of showing how the things around him affect him.
That's what this film does very well. It shows what's around the boy without straying from his perspective. It tells its story through the main characters point of view. Throughout the entire film, we hardly ever leave his side. In doing this we are able to live through him and see the world as he does. It makes everything feel more personal and emotional.
Which was refreshing to see. Normally these kinds of films force feed you information by either blatantly telling you what's happening or leave our main characters side to show you something nearly unrelated. 'A Monster Calls' never does that. Everything that you need to know is shown to you as Connor learns it. We don't know hardly anything he doesn't. And while this type of story is pretty see through it's still able to hold its own weight.
Despite us being able to predict the entire film from frame one, it is still able to make you feel for these characters. Which is pretty rare for these coming of age stories. Outside of how the film actually tells the story, the biggest surprise here was both the special effects and Liam Neeson. I kept waiting for a scene where the effects took me out of the film due to a bad render or green screen.
But that scene never came. I was constantly engaged in what was happening and was able to actually care about Neeson's treebeard character. Who, for me, was the best part of the movie. He plays the monster with such charisma and character that it's nearly impossible not to love him. It really is a treat to see how Neeson just became this character, unlike another tree that says only three words...
However, this film isn't anything mind blowing. It's one of those mom/grandma kind of movie. It's very safe, predictable, and ends up tugging at your heartstrings. It's the kind of movie where you see it and then forget about it within a week. There's nothing miraculous about it. It's a well crafted and smartly written film but it doesn't do anything other than just being a coming of age story. It's pretty transparent and easy to follow without a ton of thinking involved. Which isn't inherently a bad thing. The film remains good despite this. It's nothing to write home about but it's a solid way to start 2017.
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