The BFG [2016] ★★★

 the_bfgA lot has been said about Steven Spielberg’s version of Road Dahl’s beloved 1982 novel, ever since it was screened at this year’s Cannes festival. Now that it’s finally here, kids and adults alike can enjoy what this magical film has to offer, from first rate special effects to unforgettable characters. In telling the story of a giant who snatches a 10 year old girl from a London orphanage and takes her to his country, Spielberg and his team of wizards have transformed Oscar winner Mark Rylance into a 24-foot giant while still looking like himself. The relationship between Rylance and newcomer Ruby Barnhill (who does a tremendous job as little Sophie) propels much of the story that follows. To pull this off, “The BFG” plays it straight… a bit too straight at times. But it’s that sincerity and simplicity that should win over younger viewers completely. It isn’t overplayed by any of the cast, so adults can engage with it too and enjoy this magical world. Is it one of Spielberg’s best work? That’s not for me to decide, but it does give audiences a satisfying big screen experience. It won’t replace Road Dahl’s classic book, but as a companion piece, it works like a charm.

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