The monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Conor, and it asks for the one thing Conor 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 Conor overcome his problems? Will everything be okay? Will Conor be able to speak the truth?
The school scenes were shot at Colne Valley High School in Linthwaite, Huddersfield, England. See more »
When Conor and his dad have a conversation in the car, Conor's seat belt is on at first, disappears, and reappears a few times between shots. See more »
[having a nightmare]
How does the story begin?
It begins like so many stories. With a boy, too old to be a kid. Too young to be a man. And a nightmare.
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A scary looking tree in the middle of a graveyard haunts the dreams of a little boy, Conor, who already has enough troubles while awake. A mother (Felicity Jones) with terminal cancer, bullies, absent father, dictatorial grandma (Sigourney Weaver) and now a threatening monster (Liam Neeson) to visit him at night; poor Conor does not have a lot going for him. On the plus side, the monster has only three stories to tell, yet when finished he insists that Conor tell a story of his own that reveals the truths in his heart. The monster's stories touch upon themes gnawing at Conor; the good and bad in every person, the consequences of actions and an invisible man who becomes more invisible by being seen. Still Conor refuses to acknowledge the truths. "You don't know me," he shouts "these stories are not real!" The monster then lays down the law, "I know everything about you, now speak the truth or die!"
A Monster Calls includes some amazing visual effects, fantastic scenes and brilliant dialogue. The film explores in compelling and thrilling ways how fantasy combines with reality, how people deal with their fears (for better and worse) and the tremendous power of stories. The actors are convincing and captivating and Neeson's voice is mesmerizing. You'd rob a bank if his voice told you to. Animation is used to illustrate the monster's stories. A Monster Calls is based on a novel by Patrick Ness. Seen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
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