Film Review: Sweetness & Light is the Character of ‘The BFG’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – One observation…when ‘The BFG” was written in 1982 by iconic children’s author Roald Dahl, little did he know that acronyms would become the way we talk. When I first saw that title, I wondered what that “F” stood for. It’s “Friendly,” by the way, which is perfect for this film. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This is a big, sweet and friendly valentine to the source, both the book and Roald Dahl (who also wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ featuring Willy Wonka), and is directed impeccably by Steven Spielberg. It is a bit of a throwback to the old kid-and-giant-films (like 1958’s “Tom Thumb”) of Spielberg’s youth, because while it’s done with the latest computer techniques, there is still use of miniatures and perspective techniques to illuminate the gigantic perspective. Mark Rylance portrays the title character, and does it with a wide-eyed wonder that is never saccharin, which overcomes some dead spots in the story.

Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is an orphan in 1980s London. She’s also an insomniac, and witnesses a shadowy figure walking grandly down the avenues near her orphanage. He is the “BFG” (Mark Rylance), or Big Friendly Giant. He is also a dream catcher and deliverer of those captured dreams, which is why he only works at night.

The BFG discovers Sophie spying on him, so he captures her and takes her back to his home in Giant Land. There it is found out that he is the only friendly one there, the rest like to eat humans. He is also the smallest giant in Giant Land, and is afraid of his fellow dopier big men. He embraces Sophie into his world, and she wants him to fight back using her world. Naturally, Queen Elizabeth (Penelope Wilton) gets involved. 

”The BFG” opens everywhere on July 1st, in regular and 3D showings. See local listings for 3D theaters and show times. Featuring Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, and the voices of Bill Hader and Jemaine Clement. Screenplay adapted by Melissa Mathison. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The BFG

The Title Character (Mark Rylance) and Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) in ‘The BFG
Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The BFG

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