A few days ago I plundered through Netflix looking for something to watch that wasn’t going to cause my body to tense up like it had while watching Dunkirk. (That proved a bit of a problem for my syringomyelia.) I came across The BFG (2016) based on the book by Roald Dahl.
Being a fan of Dahl, and never one to shy away from movies made for kids, I decided it would be a great way to relax and spend a couple of hours. Then I realized it was a Stephen Spielberg movie and I knew I had made a great choice!
Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) lives in an orphanage and suffers from insomnia, so she reads in bed. She also wanders around during “the witching hour” of 3 a.m. and one quiet night she looks out the window and sees a giant. The Giant (Mark Rylance) scoops her up and takes her to Giant Country. When she finally calms down enough to question him about it, he replies “Because I hears your lonely heart, in all the secret whisperings of the world.”
Eventually, Sophie comes to refer to the Giant as The BFG, or Big Friendly Giant, as he protects her from the other mean, children eating giants that live around him. The BFG is also picked on and bullied by the others. Sophie realizes that something must be done to stop them, so she comes up with a plan to enlist the Queen (Penelope Wilson) to rid the world of the bad giants, but not to harm The BFG.
This movie had me literally laughing out loud, sighing, a little anxious, and at times a little tearful. A children’s movie! CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) was used to make the Giant and add a little bit of a cartoonish air, but leave in everything about the characters to make them real. It is truly a magical experience of the best kind.
Add to that the wonderful words of The BFG, like phizz-whizzing, snozzcumbers and one of my favorites: “I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.” Not to mention, Sophie’s no-nonsense way of trying to logically work everything through and you get a very unlikely pair working together in a heartwarming way to solve a problem.
So whether you are 5, 30, or 60, or any age in-between, you really need to see this movie! It is wonderful, and I promise you will like it.
A couple of interesting tidbits:
The Giant played is by Mark Rylance who also plays Mr. Dawson in Dunkirk. And, the Queen is played by Penelope Wilton who was Downton Abby’s Isobel Crawley.
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