bfg-movie-posterTHE BFG (2016) 3.0 Stars

THE BFG is very much a Disney art film filled with great beauty both in the storytelling and in the visual images imagined by director Steven Spielberg. But few children will actually sit through a nearly two hour movie. Especially one that seems to move so slow.

Like so many of you, I have discovered the work of British novelist and short story author Roald Dahl. Born in 1916, he has been referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide. His children’s books are often dark, portraying adult enemies of the child characters. Soon, he will have four stories having been brought to the silver screen: JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, THE BFG and MATILDA (2017).

Like so many of you, I love and admire the work of Steven Spielberg. However, THE BFG is going to have a challenge to find its audience. It is not easy to combine Dahl and Spielberg. They come from different worlds. That being said, there is much to like about THE BFG. The film was written by Spielberg’s frequent collaborator, the late Melissa Mathison. It is the story of BFG (played by Oscar winner Mark Rylance in yet another towering performance) and a young orphan named Sophie (with an astonishing performance by Ruby Barnhill, who just turned 12). The Cinematography is always spectacular in the hands of Janusz Kaminski. Equally spectacular is the music written by American composer and conductor John Williams. Almost all of Spielberg’s films have Williams scores.

The story has its charm, its sweetness and its message. But the film seems to go on and on. Unfortunately.

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