Friday, July 21, 2017

A Monster Calls 2016

     This film is based on an unfinished novel by Siobbhan Dowd and completed by Patrick Ness.  Conor lives in Britain and he has a lot of trouble with the same nightmare.  He lives with his mother and their home looks out onto a church and a graveyard guarded by a giant yew tree.  His parents are divorced and his father lives in Los Angeles.  His mother is struggling with treatments for cancer and he’s very worried about her.  He’s afraid he might have to move in with his Grandma.  Conor is shy, a daydreamer and artist.  He also has a lot of problems with bullying at school.
     The scenery is very beautiful and Conor’s mother was also an artist when was younger.  No wonder Conor has nightmares, a lot is going on in his life and he doesn’t have the maturity for processing these events.  He wishes he didn’t receive a lot of pity looks from others.  Can Conor find out what his nightmare really means?  Geraldine Chaplin as the Head Teacher was 72 at the time of filming.   
108 min, Drama directed by J.Z. Bayona with Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Ben Moor, James Melville, Oliver Steer, Dominic Boyle, Jennifer Lim, Max Gabbay.

Note:  Imdb 7.5 out of 10, 87% critic 82% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 243 reviews.

Special Note:  Filmed in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Huddersfield, Derbyshire, England, UK; Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.  Sigourney Weaver had an easy time with her English accent because her mother was British.  The church by Conor's house is St. Thomas’ at Heights, Delph, Oldham and it closed in 1963.  In Conor's house, one framed picture in a series of pictures of young Grandma is actually a publicity photo of Weaver from Ghostbusters of 1984.  A theme park in scenes with Conor and his dad is Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.  The school scenes were shot at Colne Valley High School in Linthwaite, Huddersfield, England.

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