The BFG | Steven Spielberg & Mark Rylance give Roald Dahl’s classic tale wizardry and charm

Steven Spielberg supplies the wizardry, but it's Mark Rylance who gives this adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's tale The BFG its charm.

The BFG Mark Rylance Ruby Barnhill.

Steven Spielberg’s family-friendly adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic 1982 children’s book The BFG bursts at the seams with sparkling CGI and motion-capture wizardry, but it is the tender, whimsical charm of Mark Rylance that truly dazzles – and gives the movie its heart.

In virtual form, Rylance is of course the Big Friendly Giant of the title, a benevolent fellow who captures dreams in jars and speaks of figglers, frobscottle, phizzwizards and the like in a delightful burry voice. And he becomes the friend and protector of 10-year-old orphan Sophie (newcomer Ruby Barnhill), carrying her off to giant country after she catches a glimpse of his latest dream-catching expedition in a delightfully foggy, old-fashioned London. The BFG is, however, very much a runt among giants and his cannibal peers don’t share his vegetarian diet…

Spielberg is clearly having a ball. He may hold back when it comes to the film’s more threatening episodes, but he certainly goes to town with the wonder and silliness. The interlude in which the BFG takes Sophie dream catching shimmers with magic, while the later scenes featuring Penelope Wilton’s good-humoured Queen in a comically imagined Buckingham Palace fizzle with fart jokes and other mischievous fun.


Certificate PG. Runtime 117 mins. Director Steven Spielberg

The BFG is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download from Entertainment One.

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