Steven Spielberg is considered by many (myself included) to be the greatest filmmaker of all time. Outside of his catalogue of classics, Spielberg displays a profound variety in his films, tackling numerous genres and audiences, making each film feel unique. The BFG is a film that benefits from Spielberg’s touch; a lesser filmmaker would’ve relished in a silly, superficial style of bringing the characters to life, where as Spielberg embraces the vastness of the world, and engages in the childlike wonder of the story,
Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), is a young orphan who’s isolated from the world, hating her orphanage and dreaming of better things. When a mysterious giant (Mark Rylance) kidnaps her, traveling to a mysterious new land of mystery and magic. Hunted by a group of merciless giants, the unlikely duo travels across both worlds, learning from each other along the way.
The BFG is relatively light on story, but it’s the interplay between the two main characters that make the film so strong. Barnhill gives a remarkably strong performance as Sophie, bringing an innocence and depth to the character, and Rylance develops an instantly lovable character in the BFG. The special effects that bring the BFG to life are incredible in the motion capture, and the film’s innumerable CGI effects develop the world of giants. If anything, the CGI environments only give more time for the characters to interact with each other.
Spielberg’s films transport the audience to different worlds, taking time and care to create something that is both magically unique and familiar emotionally. While The BFG is a slow burn, it’s evident the care Spielberg took to create such a bold fantasy. It’s another film to put on Spielberg’s record, as Spielberg makes a film that’s not just for children, but for the child in all of us. Grade: B+