Movie Review: The BFG

I'm not sure if I've I read the book The BFG, by Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, too), but you don't need to have read it to see this movie: the special effects and acting stand out on their own.

Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) lives in an orphanage in London, and she's an insomniac: she sneaks in some reading time in bed while the other girls are fast asleep. One night, however, she hears a commotion in the street, and goes to the balcony to check it out; the Big Friendly Giant, aka BFG (Mark Rylance) sees her see him, and he plucks her out of the orphanage and brings her back to Giant Country. Sophie soon finds that the other giants who reside there are not as friendly as the BFG though, as they eat children, and they also make fun of the BFG for being about half the size that they are. Sophie comes up with a plan to get rid of the other giants and make Giant Country a safe place for the BFG to live.

The BFG is played by Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and the special effects they did on him are fantastic: it's his face as the giant, but of course everything else is CGI'd. The little girl who plays Sophie here (Ruby Barnhill), too, has only acted in one TV series, according to IMDb, so she's a relative newcomer, and she does great in the role too. Smaller roles here include Rebecca Hall, and Bill Hader and Jermaine Clements as two of the "bad" giants.

Yes, see this movie, but it might be a bit scary for younger children; I'd recommend it for ages 6 or 7+, depending on the child. I saw the film in 3D and although it's mostly a subtle 3D throughout, there are a few scenes, mostly near the beginning, where the 3D was great - that being said, if I was paying for my own ticket, I probably wouldn't spring for 3D for this film. It will be interesting to see how this movie does at the box office - Dahl fans as well as Disney and/or Spielberg fans (he directed it) may flock to the theater for it, but otherwise the title of the film isn't very descriptive and may not lure in moviegoers.

The BFG is in theaters today, July 1st, and is rated PG with a runtime of 117 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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