#7 The BFG
#8 – Moana
#9 – Rogue One
#10 – My Big Fat Greek Wedding #2
The BFG was directed by Steven Spielberg and starred Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill. It was adapted from the Roald Dahl book of the same title. It centers around the relationship between an orphan named Sophie and a giant whom she calls the BFG – or Big Friendly Giant. The BFG kidnaps Sophie after she sees him one night and takes her to giant country, where he shows her his hobby of capturing and mixing dreams and must protect her from his fellow giants who are much larger than he is and oh – also eat children.
This film is a bit of a sentimental choice for me. The BFG was the first chapter book I read out loud to our daughter and is still one of her favorites. She begged us to take her to see it in the theaters, but it came out while we were in the fray of moving across the state, so it never happened. But one night while DH was away on business, she and I snuggled on the couch and watched it together, forever cementing it as one of my favorite films simply due to that memory.
I’ll put it right out there – if you’re a fan of the book, you will most likely be a fan of the film. There are very little differences between the two, primarily the fate of the other giants (the film opts for a much more humane ending than the book, imho), the introduction of the story of a little boy who used to live with the BFG, and also a few of the scenes where Sophie is threatened by the other giants are a bit different.
The film does a lovely job of exploring the relationship between two individuals who feel abandoned and disliked – Sophie being an orphan who is especially bookish and not conventionally pretty, and the BFG being the smallest of the giants and also the only one unwilling to eat children. The giant himself is endearing in that he desperately wants to be a hero and helpful, but stumbles around in trying to find his way. Rylance does a brilliant job bringing his character to life and the CGI, while not perfect, does a good enough job to immerse you in the universe. There are some spectacularly beautiful parts, especially around Dream Country and as the BFG travels to and from Giant Country. And if your kids like fart humor, there are several laugh out loud parts that were delightfully entertaining to my flatulent enthusiast daughter.
Overall, I would say this is the best family film of 2016. It would make a lovely family film night choice, just be aware there are some intense parts with the larger giants that could scare smaller children (everything turns out okay in the end).