Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie's presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Elizabeth to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all.Written by
This movie was one of the most beautiful and curious experiences in his career according to the film's director Steven Spielberg. He explains: "Curious because when I first walked onto the stages and I saw the different levels of complexity and the technology that was required to realize even a single shot, I was, for the first time since Jaws (1975), completely overwhelmed. I wasn't sure exactly how to pull it off, but I'm so grateful for the artistry and generosity of the extraordinary people whose creativity, precision and spirit of invention made it possible." See more »
According to the postage date of one of the letters Sophie puts on the desktop, the events take place in September 1983. But when the Queen phones foreign presidents (suggested by the fact she tells to Nancy (Nancy Reagan) that she want to talk to Ronnie (Ronald Reagan)), she talks before with Boris. Assuming this refers to the Russian/Soviet leader, Boris Yeltsin was elected in 1991. Yuri Andropov headed the USSR at this time. See more »
Rondeau from 'Phaeton'
Written by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performed by Capriccio Basel Baroque Orchestra
Conducted by Dominik Kiefer
Courtesy of Tudor Recording AG
By arrangement with Source/Q and Naxos See more »
Not a total failure, but a rambling, timid effort to bring a difficult book to the screen
It's been a whopping 25 years since Steve Spielberg's last real children's film, when he disappointed children and adults alike with his Peter Pan re-imagining Hook. After a long period of going back and forth between monochromatic, Oscar-wary history lessons and crowd-pleasing blockbuster fare, Hollywood's most famous director is back trying to win the hearts of both children and parents as he did with one of his most celebrated movies, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), with a passion project he's been considering for some time. He also reunites with E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison (who sadly died last year) to bring the notoriously tricky world of Roald Dahl to the big screen.
Insomniac orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) spends her nights either beneath her blanket pouring over books or roaming the halls of the orphanage looking for anything that may spark her interest. While up late one night, she shushes some drunks staggering home from the pub, only to glimpse the shadow of what looks like a giant hooded man. The figure gets closer and closer, until a giant hand reaches in through her window and whisks her and blanket both across the country. The mysterious monstrosity turns out to be a giant indeed, but a big, friendly one, played in motion capture by a wonderful Mark Rylance. The BFG is the runt of his litter in Giant Country, and is routinely bullied by the much bigger fellow giants that lurk on the land outside of his cave. The two outcasts will form a bond that will see their two worlds unite.
Brian Cosgrove's beloved animated film from 1989 was incredibly close to the book, and was said to be a personal favourite of Dahl's. Yet a faithful page-to-screen adaptation of a terrific piece of literature doesn't necessarily result in a good movie, and having watched the cartoon relatively recently, I didn't find it very entertaining. Spielberg's update also stays quite close to Dahl's text, and it suffers from the same saggy narrative as the much shorter movie that came before did. Anyone hoping to keep their children entertained for a couple of hours may find them getting restless, as Spielberg is happy to take his time exploring this strange land. It's a decision I applaud, but it doesn't excuse an incredibly slow middle-section, as the BFG introduces the world of dream-catching, snozzcumbers and the joys of farting to the precocious Sophie, complete with rambling monologues and existential pondering.
There's also a noticeable reluctance to explore the darker areas of the book, with the giants (played like Cockney bouncers by the likes of Jemaine Clement and Bill Hader) failing to live up their names (Fleslumpeater, Bloodbottler, Bonecruncher). They instead come across as bullying buffoons and not the child-munching monsters they are meant to be. If there is one thing the film gets totally right, it is with the casting of Rylance, fresh off his Oscar win for Bridge of Spies (2015). The wonderful effects by Weta perfectly capture the warmth and innocence of his performance, and his line delivery is pitch- perfect. Spielberg also goes all-out with Dahl's bizarre finale, which sees Sophie recruit the Queen herself (Penelope Wilton) and her trusted butler Mr. Tibbs (Rafe Spall) in her fight against the evil giants of Giant Country. It's a truly weird climax, but it's the only consistently funny part of the movie. Not a total failure by any stretch of the imagination, but a somewhat rambling, timid effort to bring a difficult book to the screen.
22 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this