A Monster Calls Reviews
This movie is definitely amazing, but beware the feelz...
The subject matter is familiar to all, it's nothing new, but the way this movie deals with it is stunning and unbelievably mature for a movie of this type.
The things this movie manages to pull off with its CGI, with its animation sequences, with the art of this movie, is worthy of applause. The cinematography was used beautifully, blending scenes together sometimes seamlessly, and in very creative ways. It was a visual treat. Stunning, really.
The plot has a lot of familiar beats other movies of this nature strike, but it still manages to surprise and subvert expectations. It pulls a mature twist here, gives us some incredibly illuminating dialog there, and doesn't get held back by conventions. You pretty much know what's going to happen in this movie from the get-go, and you go through the build up, and when the movie hits that expected climax, the strength of it and the intensity is not harmed. You're there being shaken to the core along with the boy. The movie didn't falter in that important moment.
Liam Neeson who voiced and mo-capped the monster did a phenomenal job. His voice was perfect for the character, and his delivery of all the lines was simply impeccable. His warm rugged voice fit all the right tones. It was beautiful. And then it was a nice surprise that the child actor that plays beside Liam, was also a solid actor that managed to convey some heavy and serious emotions very believably.
Felicity Jones' role was something a lot of actors get to do, but she held her own. It was a good role for her, felt natural. My initial opinion of her was shit because of Rogue One. Thought she was a snore-inducing actress, but this movie greatly improved my opinion of her. Now, Sigourney Weaver was fine. Had a small role and she played it decently. Nothing much to say there.
The only slight problems I had with this movie are these; the slightly weird and unclear bully subplot, and the wavering pace of near the end of the movie (the "when would it be perfect for this movie to end?" problem). But even thought I found myself thinking about these parts a little bit, the overall experience was so satisfying and so unexpectedly good, I was completely willing to let go and to be guided by the movie. Not resist.
Beautiful movie, I recommend it to anyone. Just some warning, it's intense. You will probably cry or shed some tears, so choose who you want to watch it with.
The acting was great and I was struck early by the great sound design and beautiful art direction.
It will take a while until this film is released in the States and... it feels nice to be one of the first! This film is directed by J.A. Bayona who managed to do a quite stunning feat: his three films were The Orphanage, The Impossible and this one. The first is a tense and masterfully built horror movie, the second is an emotional disaster flick and the last is a kind and moving allegoric drama! He has been so consistent and so varied that it's exciting to see what he does next. (Can't wait for his take on the Jurassic World sequel). "A Monster Calls" may have one of the most misleading trailers of the year. It's not a fantasy film about a dendraphiliac kid (look it up! or... ugh, don't), it's not the boring BFG, it's not your usual boy meets monster movie. It feels very fresh as it's about a boy with a mother dying of cancer and him dealing with it through The Monster, a metaphor for his journey. How can a talking tree so beautifully mean the acceptance of his conflicting feelings, the personification of loss and mostly the understanding of death. The visual effects are fairly good, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones are splendidly layered and I can't praise the casting of Liam Neeson as The Monster enough! Maybe his best role since Schindler, really! The score also positively impressed me as it doesn't waste its presence when it isn't justified. When it does come along, it's saying something important and complementing the film in a triumphant way. This detail may seem small, but there are not a lot of filmmakers out there that, while having at his disposal of the means to have a score from start to finish, know just when to fit it. Also, Bayona compiles a sequence of scenes that range from the truly scary to the deeply touching where every tear on your face feels effortless (the filmmaker doesn't shove a sad violin down your throat for you to cry, you just do). Yes the film suffers from some pacing and tone problems and the script could be bettered, but it stills beats most offers that are out today. When the time comes, the monster will surely call you!