Director: J.A. BAYONA

108 mins, 2016, USA, Digital

This film was released on Sunday 1st January 2017 and is no longer screening. 

★★★★★ Irish Times

Based on the beloved book by Patrick Ness, J.A. Bayona’s striking all-ages film is a welcome riposte to the recent glut of saccharine young adult adaptations. Life has dealt twelve-year-old Conor O’ Malley (Lewis MacDougall) a series of devastating blows: his mother (Felicity Jones) is incurably ill, his father (Tony Kebbell) is an occasional figure in his life, and he is the target of school bullies. Conor is visited one night by an enormous tree-shaped monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) promising to tell him three tales, after which Conor must reciprocate with a tale of his own.

Tackling the pain of death and bereavement in a remarkably forthright fashion, A Monster Calls is that rarity, a grounded coming-of-age movie that artfully accommodates fantastical visual diversions without sacrificing its considerable emotional weight. (Notes by David O’Mahony.)

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