One of the most impressive coming of age story I've ever seen (by abrojosaputro)
Been quite long since the last time I wrote something about anything, but I guess this one deserves a bit more words than others.Every once in a while you might watch something that absorbed you completely and got you thinking about it. Not because it's perfect but because it touched you personally.A Monster Calls tells a story about a boy named Conor who has to cope with his mom's illness while going through his adolescence. Sounds like a typical coming-of-age story, but it's not. Bayona has created one of a kind, exquisite, complex and profound story for all ages while at the <more>
same time didn't forget to look gorgeous I'd totally buy their watercolor artworks and well-acted. The most impressive part of the movie for me wasn't the technicality but the emotion and imagination involved while creating this.But at the end of the day, Bayona won me over simply by reminding us all that sometimes it's when you hold something closest to you that you're finally able to let it go.
One of the most emotionally powerfully films I've seen in a while (by joshbarton15)
Based on the novel of the same name by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls is one of the most emotionally powerful films I've seen in a long time. Directed by J. A. Bayona, this is a film you'll want to be making sure you have a pack of tissues ready for. Conor O'Malley Lewis MacDougall lives at home with his terminally ill mother Felicity Jones . Bullied relentlessly at school on a daily basis and with no friends, Lewis finds himself spending most of the free time he does have helping his mother.One night, Conor encounters a monster Liam Neeson in the form of a giant yew tree. <more>
With the help of the monster, Conor learns a number of valuable life lessons, as well as facing the nightmarish reality he knows will come soon enough.Reports of A Monster Calls causing audiences to flood theatres with tears during the festival circuit have been well documented however, even they couldn't prepare me for J. A. Bayona's stunningly beautiful film. The warning of emotional distress was even there for all to see as the classification certificate appeared on screen prior to the film.This is an incredibly moving story, depressing for the most part however, thanks to the fantasy elements of the story and the relationship Lewis has with the monster, it can be strangely uplifting at times. The film packs one hell of an emotional punch towards the end but it doesn't just spring it on the audience because you can sense that is exactly where it's going from the very beginning.The performances of Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Toby Kebbell are all good but there is no debating here that the film ultimately belongs to the young Lewis MacDougall, who manages to deliver a performance that would make you think he's been acting for years, when this is in fact only his second film. MacDougall really makes you empathise with Conor and his performance in the final stages of the film is sensational.The visuals deserve a special mention as well, the monster in particular brought to life quite brilliantly through special effects and a gruff vocal performance from Liam Neeson. They go hand- in-hand with Bayona's visionary style as a director to make A Monster Calls a must-see film.
Eccentric, Eerie and Hauntingly Beautiful (by Harun_Karali)
As a fan of J.A. Bayona's previous work "The Impossible", I had fairly high expectations for this and to say that I am astonished would be an understatement. "A Monster Calls" is based on the book that Patrick Ness published in 2011. After this breathtaking adventure I assure you, You will be inclined to read the book. As this is an adventure that builds on your emotions and thrives on your imagination. Conner is a young man that is trying to cope with the fact that his mother who is diagnosed with a terminal illness isn't long for this world. But as his mind races <more>
with fears and his imagination takes hold, he creates a creature that would give adults nightmares, But as he realizes the creature is friendly, He grows close to the "monster".This is one of those movies that must be seen in theaters, mainly because it's two hours of escape from reality, where you can turn the page back, to a time where your imagination used to run wild. A time when, your biggest responsibilities were picking up your socks. In other words, a time when you were really free.
The worst thing about this movie is its title. The second worst thing about this movie is its trailer. Both will either a put people off seeing it it succeeded in that with my wife for example or b make people conclude it is a 'nice holiday film to take the kids to', which is also an horrendous mistake!This is a crying shame because it is a riveting drama and a superb piece of film-making that may well catapult it already into my top 10 films of 2017. But it is not, I would suggest, a film that is remotely suitable for kids under 10 to see, dealing as it does with terminal <more>
illness, bullying and impending doom. For this is a dark read pitch black but hauntingly beautiful film.Lewis MacDougall, in only his second film after last year's "Peter Pan" plays Conor - a young but talented and sensitive artist growing up as a 12 year old in the North of England with his single mum Felicity Jones . She is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer and is forever medically grasping for a new hope D'ya see what I did there? . Young Conor believes fervently that each new treatment will be 'the one' but the building tension, the lack of sleep and his recurrent nightmares are destroying him mentally and physically. As if this wasn't enough, his distracted nature is leading to him being seriously bullied at school and there is the added stress of having to live in his grandmother's pristine and teen-unfriendly house when his mother is hospitalised. Towering over the nearby graveyard on the hill is an ancient yew tree and Conor is visited after midnight by this "monster" voiced by Liam Neeson . Is he dreaming, or is it real? The tree dispatches wisdom in the form of three 'tales', with the proviso that Conor tell the tree the fourth tale which "must be the truth".A tale of grief, guilt and a search for closure, this is a harrowing but rewarding journey for the viewer. The film is technically outstanding on so many levels:the art design is superb, with the gorgeous 'tale animations' being highly reminiscent of the beautiful ones in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"; the use of sound is brilliant, with sudden silence being used as a weapon with which to assault the senses in one key sequence; - the cinematography by Oscar Faura "The Imitation Game" is faultless, capturing both the dreary reality in a Northern winter with the comparative warmth of the strange dream-like sequences;the music by Fernando Velázquez is used effectively and intelligently to reflect the sombre mood; the special effects team led by Pau Costa "The Revenant", "The Impossible" shines not just with Neesen's monster, but with the incorporation of the root and branch effects into the 'normal' surroundings. As the BFG illustrated, having a whole film carried by a young actor is a bit of an ask, but here Lewis MacDougall achieves just that like a seasoned pro. His performance is nothing short of staggering and - although a brave move by the Academy - it would be great to see him nominated for a BAFTA acting award for this.Confirming her position in the acting top-flight is Felicity Jones, heart-wrenching in her role of the declining mum, and Sigourney Weaver is also excellent as the po-faced but grief-stricken grandmother. Liam Neeson probably didn't add much by getting dressed up in the mo-cap suit for the tree scenes, but his voice is just perfect as the wise old sage.The only criticism of what is an absorbing and intelligent script is the introduction of Conor's Dad, played by Toby Kebbell Dr Doom from "The Fantastic 4" , who is literally flown in from LA on a flying visit but whose role is a little superfluous to the plot. This is exactly what "The BFG" should have been but wasn't. It draws on a number of potential influences including "Mary Poppins"/"Saving Mr Banks" and "ET". Wise, clever and a thing of beauty from beginning to end, this is a treat for movie-goers and a highly recommended watch. However, if you have lost someone to "the Big C" be aware that this film could be highly traumatic for you..... or highly cathartic: as I'm not a psychiatrist, I'm really not that sure! Also, if you are of the blubbing kind, take LOTS of tissues: the film features the best use of a digital clock since "Groundhog Day" and if you are not reduced to tears by that scene you are certifiably not human. For the graphical version of this review, please check out http://bob- the-movie-man.com .
When I first walk into theater, I was not expecting much of this. Yeah, the first moments were so cliché I thought this would just be a mediocre movie at best. But after the movie, everything changed, and this became one of the best movies I've seen in years The director use beautifully rendered CGI to deliver the emotions of a struggling young boy coping with reality. It was already a hard concept that few movie successfully delivered, and yet he make so many people I know broke down in tears. Moreover, he also make use of the visual to express the incredibly complicated yet meaningful <more>
plot of the movie, constantly changing between fantasy and reality, truth and lies, acceptance and the growing of a boy into adulthood. The main actor while only a young man has already show signs of greatness, you can only wonder if he had already gone through all of this. He also actually took the time to developed each character, making the audiences attach to each and everyone of them. Which is why the ending was even more dramatic and sad for many of us And the soundtrack, oh man, the soundtrack just hit me where it really feels, this is probably the best part of this movie. Whether it's total silence for contemplation of characters or full- on orchestral work for the climax or the sad violin, man, they totally nailed it.
Only truths will quench the fires of the heart (by Raven-1969)
A scary looking tree in the middle of a graveyard haunts the dreams of a little boy, Conor, who already has enough troubles while awake. A mother Felicity Jones with terminal cancer, bullies, absent father, dictatorial grandma Sigourney Weaver and now a threatening monster Liam Neeson to visit him at night; poor Conor does not have a lot going for him. On the plus side, the monster has only three stories to tell, yet when finished he insists that Conor tell a story of his own that reveals the truths in his heart. The monster's stories touch upon themes gnawing at Conor; the good and <more>
bad in every person, the consequences of actions and an invisible man who becomes more invisible by being seen. Still Conor refuses to acknowledge the truths. "You don't know me," he shouts "these stories are not real!" The monster then lays down the law, "I know everything about you, now speak the truth or die!"A Monster Calls includes some amazing visual effects, fantastic scenes and brilliant dialogue. The film explores in compelling and thrilling ways how fantasy combines with reality, how people deal with their fears for better and worse and the tremendous power of stories. The actors are convincing and captivating and Neeson's voice is mesmerizing. You'd rob a bank if his voice told you to. Animation is used to illustrate the monster's stories. A Monster Calls is based on a novel by Patrick Ness. Seen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
"And if you need to break things, then by God, you break them." (by broke03)
As someone who had read the book and really liked it, I found the movie as compelling and it excels at additions that are not in the novel such as the last scene which happened after the ending of the book. However, they also removed some good parts from the book, but were offset by visuals and score and the spot on performances of the characters especially Lewis MacDougall Conor who nailed his role in the movie. He sure knows how to cry. And that needs pointing out as a lot of kids in movies are sometimes annoying and difficult to watch. Felicity Jones The Theory of Everything and <more>
Sigourney Weaver Aliens who were both Academy Award Best Actress nominees were as good as anyone would expect them to be. And Liam Neeson's voice was the perfect choice for the monster's. Haunting, cold, deep, and soothing. Also, the other thing I found striking was how the book played out as a movie. Aside from a few differences the adds and minuses , almost everything else is as what the book is. Impactful scenes as how they were narrated and readers imagine them to be and dialogue and life lessons as how they were said in the book were same as in the movie. If you have read and liked the book, then watch this. If you have not, watch it still, as long as you have a heart and know what you're getting into, chances are you'll like this gem of a movie.
"There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between."Before seeing the movie, I didn't know much about "A Monster Calls". The only information I got from it is that it's based on Patrick Ness novel and the trailer had a "Iron Giant" vibe to it. I also liked the director Juan Antonio Bayona previous movies, so I guess that's what peaked my interest in seeing it. And I came out pretty surprised of how good it was. Not just that, but how moving and heartfelt it was.Juan Antonio Bayona is the type of <more>
director that knows how to tell a compelling story in his films. To screw lose the sentiment, until your eyes are filled with water to the point where you can't help but spill out. And in this movie he dose exactly that and how smart he was with it's decisions of the emotional scenes.There's a lot of great actors in this and none of them are put to waste. Liam Nesson was excellent as The Monster. Sigourney Weaver was great as the Grandma. Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell were also great as Connor parents. But I think the real stand is Lewis MacDougall as Connor . Even at the age of 14 this kid literally carries this movie and really dose reflect Connor's inner conflict.That's what I notice in Bayona movies. All of the kid actors in his movies are pretty solid and I would go as far to say that they better than the adults. This is very rare for me to say that, because most kid actors suck. Yes there are good ones out there, but only some, as most of them don't fully bring their all.The visual effect's were pretty stunning and impressive of how it interacted with the real environment that it was in. In all honesty, I was pretty surprised. And what I mean by "surprise" is that I was expecting The Monster itself to be the only effect in the movie. Because The Monster tells three stories to Conner and all three are done in a visual dye artwork that's beautiful to look at. It's good to be surprise.For problems I had with the movie are slim, but if I had to pick, I would probably say that films message can be a little repetitive and oblivious towards the end. I think that may bug some people. But still, it's a great message that's speaks the truth and actually sticks to it. I mean, if the message was terrible or nothing special, then this might be a big complaint. The film doesn't have an happy ending and neither a sad one. There's no Hollywood ending or anything like that. It would say it's mixed.Overall rating: "A Monster Calls" is entertaining, sad, and unforgettable tale that sticks with you after it's over. The film tells the truth and nothing but the truth of life. You want everything to be alright for this kid, but you're left with a feeling of stillness. Like you can't do anything about it, even with all the magical things that's happening. It just gotta let it happen....that's life.
￼ RATING: ☆☆☆☆ out of 5 THIS FILM IS RECOMMENDED. IN BRIEF: A visually stunner caught up in the undergrowth of its own conventional storytelling.GRADE: BSYNOPSIS: A child suffers the harsh realities of life and retreats to another world.JIM'S REVIEW: J. A. Bayona's A Monster Calls is a visually imaginative downer of a tale about a young boy who must learn to cope with grief. Based on the award-winning children's book by Patrick Ness and adapted by the author himself, the film uses animation and live action to tell its tale of woe. The results of this dark tale are <more>
enlightened by stylish direction and a highly effective performance by newcomer. Lewis MacDougall.Mr. MacDougall plays Conor O'Malley whose life is filled with too many harsh realities: a mother suffering from terminal cancer Felicity Jones , a distant grandmother Sigourney Weaver and a more distant father Toby Kebbell , a cruel bully James Melville . Real life offers no solitude, so Conor retreats to an imaginary world which brings with it a giant yew monster Liam Neeson . During his visits, the tree creature provides some respite for Conor. He gives him sage advice by telling some stories to help this child through the darkness to find some solace in the real world. ￼A Monster Calls is more of an allegory and the film's narrative structure uses the format of interspersing animated vignettes as parables to the parallel story of Conor and his terminally-ill mother. Yes, the film is manipulative from the start, with its undeniable melodramatic set-up and ultimately tragic conclusion. The real world story is dull and so relentless in its brooding melancholia compared to the free-spirited other worldly realm and, at times, this reviewer wanted to stay in the latter. But the filmmakers treat their serious subject with such dignity and honesty, avoiding the maudlin and sentimental for the most part. There is so much to admire about Mr. Bayona's film. The subject is not an easy task to sell to the general public. Not surprisingly, the movie is doing lackluster business in the States, although globally it is doing well. Nowadays, American moviegoers are looking to escape reality, such like the main character. Technically, the film soars. From Oscar Fuura's stunning photography to Fernando Velazquez's haunting music score, the film looks death squarely in the face and celebrates life. Seamlessly edited by Benat Vilplana and Jaume Marti, A Monster Calls uses its sumptuous visuals to its advantage. With swirls of bright watercolor washes adding a vibrancy to the film's story-within- a story format, the film efficiently contrasts the real from the unreal. Kudos to director Bayona and his team of artisans on their handling of this delicate theme.The lead performances are all first-rate, Mr. Neeson voices the Monster perfectly and his motion capture performance is wonderful and so heartfelt. Ms. Jones brings superb understatement to her role as Conor's sickly parent. Her chemistry with Mr. MacDougall seems genuine and authentic. This young actor, in his film debut, is remarkable and runs the full gamut of emotions without one false note. Providing supporting work in their rather stock roles are Ms. Weaver and Mr. Kebbell who are merely serviceable, possibly due to the writing and characters.￼A Monster Calls is indeed a Grimm tale, but one that deserves your attention. And be forewarned, bring a hankie with you.