Friday Flicks: A Monster Calls

Before he embarks on directing the prehistoric sequel to Jurassic World, director J.A. Bayona presents a film that features a much different kind of monster. A Monster Calls tells the intimate story of young Connor O'Malley. Connor's life is in shambles. His schoolmates bully him and leave him emotionally and physically battered. At home, his single mother (Felicity Jones) bravely faces terminal cancer. Connor's estranged father lives with his new family in America, so it looks like Connor will have to move in with his stern grandmother played by Sigourney Weaver.

One evening, Connor encounters a monster that emerges from the large tree outside of his home. Liam Neeson brings a perfect balance of menace and wisdom to the voice of this animated creature. The monster informs Connor that he will tell the boy three true stories. At the completion of the third story, Connor must tell the monster a story of his own truth. Neeson's booming voice narrates as each story unfolds in the form of beautifully rendered watercolor animations. These fables intersperse with Connor's domestic drama and culminate in a crescendo emotion and self-discovery.

Based on the novel by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls brilliantly combines fantasy with the raw emotion of a child coming to terms with the mortality of his mother. Patrick Ness follows in the footsteps of other authors including Gillian Flynn and Emma Donoghue by providing a screenplay of his work that both preserves the intent of the novel while effortlessly adapting to the different medium of film. Lewis MacDougall brings an honesty to his role as Connor, effortlessly shouldering the emotional momentum of the entire film. MacDougall's performance is juxtaposed by a masterful turn by Sigourney Weaver as his grandmother. With Bayona at the helm, A Monster Calls is a modern day fairytale that sails through the difficult topics of love and loss while maintaining a heart and imagination that makes it one of the most unique and emotionally satisfying films of the year.




This entry was posted on Friday, January 27, 2017 and is filed under ,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

12 Responses to “Friday Flicks: A Monster Calls”

  1. I love this story and cannot wait to see the movie! Have a fantastic weekend Ethan!

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  2. I read this last summer and loved it! I'm excited to see the movie.

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    1. I'm sure you'll love the film too!

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  3. I just finished the book - wanted to read it before seeing the movie. I had no idea that this book would have me bawling like a baby. But I surely did.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

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    1. Get ready for all the same emotions with the movie!

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  4. I have heard a lot of buzz about this movie, but I really want to read the book first, even though I know it won't take me long. It sounds like they've done a spectacular job with this adaption, and it conveys all the right emotions through the story it shows.

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  5. So glad to hear you enjoyed this! I really liked the book so cannot wait to see this movie. Hopefully soon!

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    1. I hope you like it as much as I did!

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  6. Great review! I have the book on my shelf and I'm hoping to read it soon, so I can watch the movie soon after. Or maybe once I recovered from the book at least :)

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    1. Definitely give yourself some recovery time in between the two!

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