Adapted from Roald Dahl’s children book of the same name written in 1982, The BFG is a cute family-friendly film about an orphan girl and a gentle giant. The film reunites director Steven Spielberg and Academy Award winning actor Mark Rylance who were both involved in 2015’s Bridge of Spies. Rylance plays the CGI-enhanced titular character BFG, which stands for big friendly giant. The movie begins at a London orphanage where Sophie is lonely and often wanders the hallways in the middle of the night. This one particular night she hears something stirring outside the window and is amazed to discover a literal giant roaming the streets. She is taken by him back to the magical Giant Land and his cave where he lives. Eventually, they develop a close friendship and Sophie helps him, who she affectionately calls BFG, to fight off nine bullying giants. With such whimsical names as Fleshlumpeater and Gizzardgulper, BFG also must protect Sophie from these giants who want her for food since they are human “bean” eaters. One of my favorite parts of the film is the humorous language spoken by BFG, a quaint combination of broken English and gibberish with such made-up words as crockadowndillies and scrumdiddlyumptious. Visually, the movie is marvelously well done: CGI was effective in creating a realistic illusion of giants while still retaining the actors’ recognizable facial features. By using live action with elements of CGI, the film’s ability to tell a uniquely fantastical story was greatly enhanced. The juxtaposition of an actual child actor playing Sophie with the realistically outsized BFG underscores the story’s lesson about friendship. People of all shapes and sizes and from all backgrounds who may normally be enemies can in fact develop close relationships. Quite simply, not all giants should be judged as scary human-eating creatures; BFG is the complete opposite of the sinister perception of a monster. Furthermore, it is about the power of dreams. BFG is a dreamcatcher who sneaks into the human-inhabited cities to capture children’s dreams and also has the power to give children either good or bad dreams. Beyond fostering simple dreams while sleeping, he is able to fulfill Sophie’s dream of leaving the orphanage and having a semblance of a family with BFG. Overall, I found the movie to be an adorable film that can be enjoyed by all in a family. Its fantasy style and hopeful storytelling reminded me of Martin Scorsese’s 2011 Hugo and the many iterations of Peter Pan.

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