Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Monster Calls (2016)

Director: J.A. Bayona. Cast: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones. 108 min. Rated PG-13. USA/Spain. Fantasy/Drama.

A youngster struggles with his terminally-ill mother's impending death, through fantasizing about a tree-like monster who tells him three stories, in exchange for one of his own. It's heart-wrenching melodrama, for (in the film's own words) kids who are "too old to be a kid, too young to be a man", but still a necessary work of art for the unfortunate child in the same situation. While Weaver displays an awful British accent, young newcomer McDougall does an astonishing job, and both the animated sequences and the Monster's CGI effects are beyond satisfying.

PS: Watch for Liam Neeson in a picture frame in the final scene to discover the Monster's identity.

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