Believe it or not, legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg has yet to make a movie over at Disney. He finally has though, with the release this week of The BFG, based on the classic book of the same name by Roald Dahl. As I’ll get into below, Spielberg and Disney have long been a good potential fit, so this was always a matter of when, not if, but the pairing has occurred and we now have another children’s film of his to discuss. Is it anything to go nuts over? Could it be an awards player in any major way? Read on to find out…
The film is, again, an adaptation of Dahl’s classic children’s book. It centers on a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who comes in contact with a BFG, or Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). Despite his imposing stature, he’s one giant who poses no threat to Sophie, a he doesn’t eat children. Quickly, a friendship develops between them, which is essential to keeping her safe once other giants find out about this. Spielberg directs, obviously, from a script by the late Melissa Mathison (with Christopher Abbott serving as a story editor). Other cast members besides Barnhill and Rylance include Jemaine Clement, Bill Hader, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, Penelope Wilton, and more. Cinematography is by the legendary DP Janusz Kaminski, while the score comes from the just as legendary composer John Williams.
By and large (no pun intended), the praise being heaped upon this flick is centered on the visual effects and motion capture performance by Rylance. The reviews overall have been solid but unspectacular, continuing the trend that began when the title debuted recently at the Cannes Film Festival. Pundits stateside as well as those in the south of France can’ deny Spielberg’s skills as a director, but many seem to think the story is a little thin and could use more life. That being said, the effects used to bring the giant to life and Rylance’s work combine to give them one thing to really praise. The two of them combined to Academy Award winning effect last year with Bridge of Spies, so while Oscar might not be calling in the same way, a fruitful partnership is at hand. Essentially, it seems like middle of the road Spielberg, by and large, which is still better than the average movie for sure.
In terms of awards, I suspect Disney […]