A master class in raising the mo-cap (or performance capture) bar on animation, The BFG is at times a technical marvel – pushing the boundaries of what cinema can offer… Here, thanks to the marriage of art and actor, you’ll believe giants do indeed exist. Much of that credit deservedly falls to the feet of actor Mark Rylance – 2015 best Supporting Actor nominee for his brilliantly subdued work in Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. In THE BFG, he’s equally amazing. Based on the popular children’s book from author Roald Dahl, Spielberg has, however, created quite the unbalanced affair. Of course his attention to detail is second-to-none: production values, the look, the sound, the special effects – this is no less than a beautiful movie up on the screen… It even flirts with wonderment and whimsy at times. With this much goodness flittering about though, THE BFG always felt like it was keeping me at arm’s length – I never bought in to the emotion of it all and I was never wrapped in that (often complained about by most critics, but rarely me) Spielbergian blanket of warm fuzzies. I was left out in the cold. Look, I still attentively watched this film from one of my favorite directors and suspect many will find much to enjoy… But with little heart, less soul, no real sense of urgency and a story so erratic it’s like watching a cat chase a laser light, I can only squeeze so much water from the sponge of adoration… Mildly entertaining, mostly eccentric and always aggressively sluggish, THE BFG could possibly be the #1 children’s movie of the year that will put most children to sleep.
Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill and Jemaine Clement
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Running time: 1hr 55min
Story: A young girl befriends a giant in this story based on the popular children’s book.