The BFG

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Children’s book author, Roal Dahl, wrote a heartwarming story in 1982 about a big friendly giant and director Steven Spielberg brings it to life in the family adventure film, The BFG. Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is a ten-year-old girl who lives in an orphanage in London and has trouble sleeping at night. One night while awake, she sees a 24-foot giant (Mark Rylance) sneaking around the streets of London. Before she has a chance to scream she is grabbed and taken to giant country. (I’m not sure where that is but it’s a kids story so it doesn’t have to make sense.) When she wants to leave, the giant tells her if she tries to escape the big giants will eat her. It seems like her big friendly giant (BFG) doesn’t want Sophie to tell anybody she saw him in the city. BFG also keeps Sophie hidden in his cave because the real giants Bloodbottler (Bill Hader), Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) and other giants that stand around 50-foot-tall eat children. (Again, this is a kid’s story.) Sophie comes up with a scheme that involves going to The Queen (Penelope Wilton) and telling her about the giants snatching children from their beds at night and then eating them. She also shares her idea of how to get rid of the giants. This is a charming, sentimental story that has a great lesson about friendship. (No, it’s not a cooking lesson on how to prepare and eat kids.) The music is absolutely fantastic and the little girl, Ruby Barnhill, is really cute. I can’t see her but I love her voice and the way she has so much emotion in her dialogue. My wife said Barnhill is also delightful to watch on screen. The screenplay was written by Melissa Mathison who teamed up with Steven Spielberg years ago to bring us the emotional film, E.T. Unfortunately, this is no E.T. and it’s not just because the plot is a little thin, it’s because the movie drags on for way too long. The running time for most children or family films is around an hour and a half or if it’s an intriguing story, maybe a little longer. Spielberg, don’t you remember how to edit? I’m giving this imaginative but sluggish film at times a C+ rating.

This movie has been given a PG rating by the MPAA

Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals. I rely more on a good story line than special effects.