Boy meets beast is the basic premise of J.A. Bayona’s latest awe-striking drama, A Monster Calls. Bringing heart and life to this boy and beast are co-stars Lewis MacDougall and Liam Neeson, one a child actor who’s only previous role was a bit part in Pan, the other one of the most iconic tough guys of the 21st century cinema thanks to thrillers like Batman Begins, The Grey, and the Taken trilogy.
In A Monster Calls, MacDougall stars as poor Conor O’Malley, a young boy whose not only facing down bullies at school and his stern grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) at home, but also the impending death of his terminally ill mother (Felicity Jones). However, when a massive monster (Neeson) in the form of an ent-like yew tree crawls from the ground to his bedroom window, Conor makes an unlikely friend when he needs it most.
Instead of pure animation, director J.A. …
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