Character: The actors they chose were excellent. Liam Neeson did a brilliant job as The Monster. If I had to complain I would say the mom looked really young, and she lacked just a little bit of, I guess the word might be passion, she did a very good job, there was just this one scene where I wish she put just a little more into it, but other than that, very well done
Plot: It followed the book almost perfectly. The stories were the same, they took many conversations from the book, they did take out one character, his friend at school, but it didn’t bother me, and sometimes conversations were flipped, and they actually added one scene in the end which I wasn’t too happy with, but nothing truly devastating, so in the end, almost perfect.
Overall Rating: A definite must watch. I might be biased because of how much I loved the book, but I truly believe this is an excellent movie. The actors did a fantastic job, they managed to incorporate the art which made me very happy, and it’s just extremely moving. I would definitely suggest you watch this, but don’t forget your kleenex….
Language/Violence/Other: It took me till just now to realize that this movie was rated PG-13, and I can’t imagine why. There was very little language, and the only violence was with The Monster, which again, wasn’t really that violent. Now, it can be a little creepy, but just for kids. I mean, after all he is a monster, but I wouldn’t consider this anything like a horror or a thriller, nothing of the sort, but it is intense. It is a very tragic movie, so not necessarily a movie for kids.
Just a reminder to you guys or to anyone who hasn’t read one of my movie reviews but, I am not a movie critic or anything like that. All I do is to let you know how closely the movie followed the book and whether I believed the actors did a proper portrayal. So when I state that an actor did a terrible job, I will usually mean that they were not best suited to be that particular character, and I will state specifically if I honestly believed their acting was bad, but again, I’m no professional.
Let’s start with the actors…
Lewis Macdougall – Conor
Now, I will state that it took me just a few minutes to adjust to this actor. Whether it was because I’ve hardly seen the actor in action, or whether I just don’t like him very much, I’m not sure, but in the end he did a good job. He really pulled out the Conor I read in the book, the angry, desperate, and tragic Conor. But also the smart mouth as well. I really don’t have too much to complain about. He’s not necessarily my favorite actor, so I’m not all over crazy about him, but his performance was very good.
Liam Neeson – The Monster
Don’t get me started… I may exaggerate here, but he was PERFECT! I was blown away, I was just a little worried when walking into it, but oh my goodness. The voice was so soothing and just as I imagined it. He had the ferociousness of the monster, but also the comforting and wise side as well. They also captured every little detail, every face change and annoyed and tired sigh. He changed as well… at the beginning he was this strange impatient monster who felt like a threat, but then slowly changed into someone so important, someone you couldn’t have imagined yourself without. The process was brilliant, and I couldn’t have asked for more from Liam Neeson. Well done.
Felicity Jones – Lizzie (Mum)
She also did a pretty good job. If I had to say anything I would say she looked very young, but really, that’s not too bad of an issue. I guess you could say I wished for a little more… passion from her. Don’t get me wrong, she was good, I just needed a little more. She seemed a little dead throughout, which may have been the point, but I never really got that impression from the book, she tried so hard for him. All in all though, very decent.
Sigourney Weaver – Grandma
Now, I’ve always had a strange love-hate relationship with Weaver, I like her and I don’t, but she was perfect for this roll. Now, maybe someone else could have been just as good, but I really think she did good. She had that air of richness and ancientness that Conor always saw in her in the book, as well as the feel of the villain as well. She too also changed well, that scene in the end where she talks to him in the car is real nicely done.
Now, I could go more into the actors and such, but there really isn’t any need, everyone did great. Couldn’t have been more happy. Which leads me to the plot.
Almost perfect. I mean, they took conversations from the book, and way more than just one. Now, it wasn’t perfect of course, obviously they had to take some scenes out, but nothing drastic. I guess one drastic change was taking out a character, which was the girl Conor was always arguing with in the book. That actually didn’t bother me too much to be honest, I never actually felt she was crucially important. One change I wasn’t happy about though was the adding of one scene in the very end. Now, I won’t give spoilers, I’ll talk more specifically in my Ponderings if you don’t care about that, but for now, I’ll just state that I wasn’t happy with it. Not so unhappy that I would say the movie is ruined or that I’lll never watch it again, just enough to annoy me a bit.
The tales were perfect! (They took one of the sons out in the first tale though which I found weird…). They followed very closely to the book, and The Monster told them perfectly. One really neat aspect I caught watching it the second time (Yes, it came out Thursday night and I’ve already scene it twice…) is that every time Conor was in school, you could hear his teachers talking about something relevant to Conor’s acceptance. To explain, after Conor was told the first story, which was meant to help him with his Grandma, we hear his teacher in class explain how there are two sides to a story, and we don’t always hear both. Which was perfect, considering how all he could see his grandma as was the villain, and of course he wasn’t getting the whole story. Next was right before the fourth tale, when his teacher was explaining that sometimes there are things that are hard to admit, but once spoken truly, can relieve so much weight on you. When I heard this I was excited. What a subtle way to explain the stories more without being to simple.
All in all, brilliant. Very well done, very close to the book, and a must watch. Just a side note, the music was also very well done, I can’t stop listening to the opening song. The movie had a lot of dead quite scenes which were perfect.
For more information, go and look at my Ponderings.
Please, go watch, and enjoy.