Director Steven Spielberg s fantasy film is the tallest – and gentlest – of tall tales

By Tom Gliatto
July 01, 2016 05:20 PM
Storyteller Distributuion Co.

To those who might harrumph that Steven Spielberg s latest isn t a summer blockbuster of the ages, for all ages – it s merely a sweet, dream-colored fantasy aimed squarely at children – we say this: May you meet up this very night with a trogglehumper.

And that, in the curious vocabulary of the title s Big Friendly Giant (Oscar winner Mark Rylance, morphed courtesy of CGI and looking at times like a towering version of Seinfeld s Michael Richards), means a very bad thing indeed. The giant, awkward and friendless, steals little Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) from a London orphanage and brings her to his cave, where he hides her from the even bigger giants who bully him (and eat people).

If Spielberg doesn t capture the anarchic whimsy of Roald Dahl s 1982 novel, his film has the soft enchantment of what the giant would call a phizzwizard. A very good thing indeed.

The BFG is in theaters now.

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