A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

Juan Antonio Bayona (2016)

103min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Much digital artistry has gone into bringing Patrick Ness's award-winning children's book to the screen. Lewis MacDougall plays Conor, a sensitive, bullied 12-year-old, who must cope with a terminally ill mother (Felicity Jones), an absent father (Toby Kebbell) and a cold grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) in a Brontëan northern English town. An ancient yew tree (voiced by Liam Neeson) creaks to life in a neighbouring graveyard and offers three parables in exchange for a reluctant Conor's own. These exquisitely animated fables offer welcome but fleeting respite from the apocalyptically roiling, corporeal escalations of this Freudian journey through grief. While hard-going and gloomy, the film never patronises its audience, and Ness's own hand on the screenplay ensures it retains its hardy emotional core.

Summary

Young Conor struggles to deal with his mother's terminal illness, the cold grandmother he has to stay with and the bullying he receives at school. He is woken from a recurring nightmare by the visitation of a tree monster at his bedroom window, telling him a series of stories. In return, Conor must tell the monster the truth behind his dreadful nightmare. Fantasy drama based on the award-winning book by Patrick Ness, starring Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Toby Kebbell, with the voice of Liam Neeson.

Cast & Crew

Conor Lewis MacDougall
Mum Felicity Jones
The Monster Liam Neeson
Grandma Sigourney Weaver
Dad Toby Kebbell
The Head Teacher Geraldine Chaplin
Miss Kwan Jennifer Lim
Mr Clark Ben Moor
Harry James Melville
Sully Oliver Steer
Director Juan Antonio Bayona
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Entertainment OneGuidance: Violence.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 1 Jan 2017
Drama