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A Monster Calls

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  • reservoirdogma
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    #1201925971

    This one seems like it came out of nowhere–any thoughts on its chances, at least in the major categories? Right now, Felicity Jones seems like its best shot for Supporting. (The release date also just got moved from mid-October to Christmas day, and I’m not sure what that means or how it bodes.)

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    KyleBailey
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    #1201926904

    At first it came off over the top in sentimentality but the people coming out of screenings are just head over heels for it so I’m going to give it a chance. Jones does stand out in the trailer

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    AMG
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    #1201962813

    This film is emotionally devastating. Lewis MacDougall deserves to be taken seriously in the Best Actor race – he is so raw and honest in every murmur and movement; he is compelling to watch. One scene in particular from him breaks your heart like no other performance has done this year.

    Felicity Jones is also very good, she doesn’t have the most amount of screen time, but she lifts the film even higher when she is on screen. The ‘break things’ speech she has – which is briefly featured in the trailer – is so powerful yet just as subtle.

    Sigourney Weaver is in a role I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in before. Great to see that she has been given this opportunity to play what is simply pure emotional drama.

    We know Liam Neeson can pull off a voice only performance, thanks to Aslan. He as The Monster is this odd warmth despite his great power and destruction. Again, another great performance in this film.

    Elsewhere, the score could easily have been sweeping strings to play on the emotions, but it too was understated to just the right level for me. The visual effects are incredible – I’m shocked this film hasn’t made the shortlist for that – it should be a top five nominee at least.

    The script could have been cheesy and overly sweet, but it is pitched at the right level. The cinematography is spot on – with animated scenes to rival the Three Brothers scene from Harry Potter and The Deathtly Hallows Part One.

    Simply put, I would thoroughly recommend this film. Some critics have questioned ‘who it is for’, but why does a film have to be for one group of people? Film is meant to be inclusive for all.

    Imwill be strongly championing Lewis MacDougall for any awards recognition this year!

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    Someonelikeme
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    #1201963587

    Very good film! Just saw this!

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    rennia1325
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    #1201963707

    One thing to immediately appreciate about A Monster Calls is the different production and story elements combined into one tale. Think of the imagery of Where the Wild Things Are and the grim cinematography styling of A Series of Unfortunate Events and the depressing reality of every indie movie film centered on a dying loved one (Wish I Was Here, The Hollars, Demolition) and you have everything here. Bayona takes a short story give it a complex emotional depth that other films don’t fully explore. Lewis McDougall does a great job as Conor where through the film you see his character develop having to deal with this maturely depressing journey through his eyes. Try not to cry the film’s final act. It’s honestly rather difficult not to do.

    One of the best aspects of the film is Liam Neeson as The Monster. No, he is not another incarnation of Groot, but he does give a stellar voice performance more than any of his other voice work in the past. When you have a booming voice of Liam Neeson in your film you cast him as a Raccoon or a Lego police officer (okay that actually worked), but make him a gigantic monstrous tree. With him as this tree, Neeson’s voice accompanies the height and design.

    The look of The Mon- you know what? I’m just going to call him The Tree because that’s exactly what The Monster is: a tree. With The Tree, the design and level detailing is incredible. With the $43,000,000 budget, the film puts all of its effects to work. There are so many branches in him that are so detailed realistically that it integrates well with the interactions of these characters. Never for a moment, it seemed like McDougall is interacting with nothing.  It never seems to once occur to me that this was a CG Tree. The great amount of detailing into the Tree’s effects breathes all the life that captures the childhood bond of a boy and the creature that helps him to grow. Again, similar to Max and Carol inWhere the Wild Things Are.

     

    http://www.rendyreviews.com/movies//a-monster-calls-review

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    Rich Landry
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    #1201964717

    What a very good movie. That ending was very emotional.I wish it was being considered for more awards attention. Sigourney Weaver would definitely be in my top predictions for Supporting Actress and man….Liam Neeson’s work makes me wish there was a voice over performance because he was fantastic.

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    WildforFilm
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    #1201985395

    When I initially watched the trailer for this movie I thought, “looks a little cheesy,” but I can’t believe how wrong I was. Words cannot fully describe the emotional journey this film will put you through. Major props to Lewis McDougall who was astounding as the character Connor. He easily deserves to be in the conversation for Best Actor, but he’s a child so he won’t be. I also thought I wouldn’t be able to get over the idea of a giant tree monster, but the effects for the Monster are fantastic and so detailed. I thought this story would be more geared for children, because I thought this was based on a children’s book (could totally be wrong on that), but it certainly was not. The themes of letting go and coming to terms with death are extremely heavy, which is why I was even more impressed by the acting abilities of McDougall.

    Weaver and Jones give great supporting performances and I would certainly place them above the likes of Spencer this awards season. I think one of them should be in this race.

    My question is why did this film receive no awards attention? The technical aspects of this film are extremely well done and the acting and story are equally engaging. The transitions from the real world into the stories the Monster told were also wonderful.

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    Sab227
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    #1201985419

    When I initially watched the trailer for this movie I thought, “looks a little cheesy,” but I can’t believe how wrong I was. Words cannot fully describe the emotional journey this film will put you through. Major props to Lewis McDougall who was astounding as the character Connor. He easily deserves to be in the conversation for Best Actor, but he’s a child so he won’t be. I also thought I wouldn’t be able to get over the idea of a giant tree monster, but the effects for the Monster are fantastic and so detailed. I thought this story would be more geared for children, because I thought this was based on a children’s book (could totally be wrong on that), but it certainly was not. The themes of letting go and coming to terms with death are extremely heavy, which is why I was even more impressed by the acting abilities of McDougall.

    Weaver and Jones give great supporting performances and I would certainly place them above the likes of Spencer this awards season. I think one of them should be in this race.

    My question is why did this film receive no awards attention? The technical aspects of this film are extremely well done and the acting and story are equally engaging. The transitions from the real world into the stories the Monster told were also wonderful.

    I watched this yesterday and I couldn’t have said it better myself, it was a masterpiece and the fact that there is no awards discussion (especially for all the acting including Neeson) is very disappointing

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by  Sab227.
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    WildforFilm
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    #1201985576

    I really wish they Oscars would start awarding voice-over work. Neeson would certainly be in contention this year as the Monster.

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    moviefan61794
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    #1201991731

    It is such a shame this film has been lost in the shuffle this awards season and, assumingly as a result, is being ignored at the box office by audiences. This film is really quite great, mashing together the coming-of-age drama, the traditional tearjerker, and the dark fantasy genres to create something wholly unique, emotionally draining, and fulfilling. MacDougall was incredible and I am excited to see what he does next. Jones and Weaver were absolutely wonderful and I wished they had just a few more scenes each, but their impact in their screentime is not wasted. It’s a visually stunning film with a wrenching but thought-provoking script from Patrick Ness. JA Bayona wowed me with “The Impossible” back in 2012 — another film largely ignored by awards bodies that year outside of Naomi Watts that likewise featured outstanding visual effects and a brilliant performance by a young actor (Tom Holland) — and he likewise impressed me here. I wish this were a contender, but every year there manages to be a film or two that slips through the cracks that I absolutely adore, and this one seems to fill that slot this year. PLEASE see this film.

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    AMG
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    #1201991808

    This film is doing very well with the annual Gold Derby Forum rankings, and I sincerely hope that love translates to Gold Derby Film Awards nominations!

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    Borja Lopez
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    #1201991813

    MacDougall, Jones and Weaver should be Oscar contenders.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #1201991867

    I loved this film, partly because I had no idea what to expect from it. What I got was a film both moving and amazing. It’s stunning how ignored it has been in awards, I voted for it across the board in the gold derby awards, so here’s hoping!

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