Wednesday, 27 July 2016

When Spielberg Meets Disney

A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children.  


When Steven Spielberg has to direct a film, no matter what the subject is, I'll be there. Because I know, with Spielberg at the helm and E.T screenwriter Melissa Mathison (though she died last November) at the typewriter, I'm in for the awe of watching the art of a true legend of filmmaking - and to me probably the best storyteller of all time. Steven Spielberg directed 29 feature films in his career, but he has never before made one with the powerhouse that is Walt Disney Studios. This film is the first to be put under the Disney Studios fairy-tale castle logo. 


The BFG comes from a director who knows how to make films on that note and on that scale. It arches back to Spielberg early days when he was making movies about friendship and magic like E.T. And I'd dare to say that this film could serve as Spielberg's E.T for an all-new generation. In fact, for a certain generation, E.T will always stand as the ultimate children's movie. No matter how fantastical the tale, this splendid Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation makes it possible for audiences of all ages to wrap their minds around one of the unlikeliest friendships in cinema history. 


This London-set adaptation of the Roald Dahl story reunites Mark Rylance and his Bridges of Spies director. Mark Rylance is awesome! he brings the BFG alive. It is a thing of wonder to see his trademark nuances, generally so studied and small, magnified to this colossal scale. With no offense intended to pioneer Andy Serkis, it's exciting to see someone else driving one of these virtual performances. Without him, the film would certainly lack the charm and sweetness it now displays. he plays the BFG like an abused child, grown to and alienated old age, taking refuge in a world of his own.  


Spielberg manages to make you feel like magic is real, it's out there, in our world, it's incredible - like he did in Jurassic Park for instance. This feeling is intensified by the fact that you are watching a story through the eye of a young girl. Who can be more imaginative than a child? Ruby Barnhill is fantastic as well, she's brilliant in comedy as well as with the dramatic aspect. Indeed the motion capture work and CGI are very strong and John Williams score is as beautiful as ever. Finally, this film relies on the simple notion that magic only works so long as children believe, and here we see this principle put into practice. 


Overall, The BFG feels like something magical between an Amblin Entertainment movie and a classic Disney Studios fairytale.         

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