The BFG: "Never Get Out Of Bed. Never Go To The Window. Never Look Behind The Curtain"

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer:     Melissa Mathison
Starring: Mark Rylance
                Ruby Barnhill
                Penelope Wilton
                Jemaine Clement
                Bill Hader
                Rebecca Hall
                Rafe Spall
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now 

I cannot stress enough what a massive impact Roald Dahl had on me as a child, and it's an impact I didn't realise was real until I saw this version of The BFG. Dahl's imaginative and somewhat dark stories were always so magical to me as a child, and the pictures they conjured in my head were always enchanting. The original BFG animation managed to bring those images to life with colour and wonder, but Spielberg's re-imagining managed to do what the animation couldn't do, it made Dahl's wild idea come to life.

Sophie (Barnhill) is an orphan, who suffers from insomnia. One night whilst up at 3 in the morning, she peaks out of her window and sees something out of the ordinary; a giant (Rylance). The only problem is, he saw her too. The giant snatches the little girl from her bed, and runs away with her to Giant Country. When there Sophie discovers that this giant isn't an evil, child munching giant like the likes of Fleshlumpeater and Bloodbottler (Clements & Hader), but rather he is a kind gentle soul, in fact he's a big friendly giant. Sophie vows to help him save Giant Country, and with some help from the Queen (Wilton), they stop the giants and give The BFG his peaceful home back.

Ruby Barnhill
The BFG is as you'd expect full of wonder and delight. The view of Giant Country is a sight to be seen, it is quirky and all slightly off kilter; and it is exactly how I imagined Giant Country to look. Spielberg obviously has come into this project with a real fondness for Dahl's original material, and that shows in the design of the giants, the landscape and The BFG's house itself.

Ruby Barnhill brings an innocence and naivety to the character of Sophie, at the same time as keeping her strong willed and tough when she needs to be. Her performance had a few wobbly moments, but for the overall effect of a girl snatched away to a world of adventure with a gentle giant; she portrays a believable character journey and shows real tenderness and warmth, especially in the films final scenes.

Mark Rylance steals the show however, with his motion capture performance, accent and handling of Roald Dahl's nonsensical words bringing the character to life. He isn't the brightest and isn't the toughest, but The BFG is sweet and loving man, who just wants to protect Sophie and keep her safe, as well as his home and livelihood. Mark Rylance portrays this dopey but lovable rogue brilliantly, and you instantly fall in love with from the start.

Penelope WIlton
Penelope Wilton provides a gently amusing portrayal of the Queen, and her performance mustered up a few chuckles from the audience; as did a certain throbscottle scene with a rather questionable blow off from Wilton herself. Hader and Clements give brilliant portrayals of the evil giants, and I can genuinely see them terrifying children for years to come.

The film is beautiful to watch, with the dream catching scene in particular taking my breath away and leaving me in awe; I was almost jealous that I couldn't join them that night. The film runs slightly longer than needed, and while nothing seems unnecessary within the plot, the slower pace and gentler moments make the film drag slightly. Spielberg has done a spectacular job at re-imagining The BFG, and despite the run time I thoroughly enjoyed every moment, even the snozzcumber. 

The BFG - Trailer