A Monster Calls is a visually spectacular drama from director J.A. Bayona, starring Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Lewis MacDougall and Felicity Jones. 12-year-old Conor is dealing with his mother’s illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother, and bullying classmates, and finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth. Toby Kebbell plays Conor’s father, and Liam Neeson stars in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting Monster of the title. Watch the trailer here:
I don’t know much about this film yet, but word on the street is that you may need tissues. In fact, according to an article in The Guardian, an editor who worked with Patrick Ness also worked with Siobhan Dowd, the author who had started the book, A Monster Calls, but died of breast cancer before she completed it. Not wanting the story to be lost, Patrick Ness finished it.
Patrick Ness, author, and Jim Kay, illustrator, won the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for writing and illustration, which recognizes the year’s best work published in the UK. The book also won the British Children’s Book of the Year. And in the U.S., the American Library Association magazine Booklist named A Monster Calls in the “Top of the List” for 2011 youth fiction. In addition, The Independent, Chicago Sun Times, and The Wall Street Journal named the film in their “Best” lists.
The book has received rave reviews. Learn more about the book on Amazon.
There’s no denying it: this is one profoundly sad story. But it’s also wise, darkly funny and brave, told in spare sentences, punctuated with fantastic images and stirring silences. Past his sorrow, fright and rage, Conor ultimately lands in a place – an imperfect one, of course – where healing can begin. A MONSTER CALLS is a gift from a generous storyteller and a potent piece of art. —The New York Times
Ness twists out a resolution that is revelatory in its obviousness, beautiful in its execution, and fearless in its honesty. Kays artwork keeps the pace, gnawing at the edges of the pages with thundercloud shadows and keeping the monster just barely, terribly seeable. —Booklist
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A Monster Calls hits theaters October 21st!