Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
There’s a new Steven Spielberg movie in theaters in less than a month and that is a reason for celebration. Or it should be a reason for celebration. The BFG seems to be flying under the radar, lost in a sea of other big summer releases. And that’s a shame because it certainly looks lovely. Spielberg’s inherent humanity and author Roald Dahl‘s sly wit feel like perfect complements for one another. Plus, how can anyone with good taste not want to see another collaboration between the greatest populist director of all time and the wonderful Mark Rylance, who took home an Oscar earlier this year for Bridge of Spies?
A new featurette about the film focusing on the casting of Rylance as the titular “Big Friendly Giant” has arrived and it only confirms my suspicions that I could listen to Mr. Rylance talk all day long.
The BFG featurette is brief, but any chance to listen to Spielberg and Rylance discuss their work, even for a few moments, is worth your time. I love the visual of Spielberg and Rylance on the set of Bridge of Spies, neck-deep in Cold War thriller territory, brainstorming a weird and colorful fantasy film starring a little girl and a giant.
The BFG also stars Ruby Barnhill, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader, and Jemaine Clement and was written by the late Melissa Matheson, who previously wrote E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial for Spielberg. The film opens in theaters on July 1, 2016. Early reviews have been mixed, but I only need three fingers to count the times Spielberg has truly let me down. Here’s the official synopsis:
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The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg –
finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle.
Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.