The BFG is a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Melissa Mathison and based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. The film stars Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall and Bill Hader. In the film, an orphan human girl befriends a benevolent giant, dubbed the “Big Friendly Giant”, who takes her to Giant Country, where they attempt to stop the man-eating giants that are invading the human world.
Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall began development on a live-actionadaptation of The BFG back in the 1990s, and various screenwriters were hired to work on the screenplay in the subsequent years. DreamWorks acquired the screen rights to Dahl’s book in September 2011, and Marshall and Sam Mercer joined as producers, Mathison as screenwriter, and Kennedy as executive producer. Spielberg was announced as director in April 2014, alongside his production company Amblin Entertainment as co-producer. Principal photography commenced in March 2015, marking Spielberg’s first directorial film for Walt Disney Pictures.
The BFG premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2016, and held its North American debut at the El Capitan Theater on June 21, 2016. The film was released in the United States in Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D, IMAX 3D,and conventional theatrical formats on July 1, 2016, the same year of Dahl’s centennial. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, though the film was a box office disappointment according to analysts, with a worldwide gross of $178 million on a $140 million budget.
Sophie, a ten year old orphaned girl who lives in a London orphanage stays awake reading through the nights due to her insomnia. At 3:00 AM, or what she calls the “witching hour“, she sees an elderly giant outside her window. The giant captures her and takes her into Giant Country. There, he explains that he named himself the “Big Friendly Giant” or the “BFG” for short and that Sophie must stay with him for the rest of her life because she saw him and must not be allowed to reveal the existence of giants. After learning that she has insomnia and that she doesn’t believe he can control dreams, he manages to read her to sleep and gives her a nightmare about failing to escape and being eaten by another giant.
When Sophie awakes, the Fleshlumpeater, the infantile leader of the man-eating giants, enters the BFG’s home and smells Sophie. The Fleshlumpeater nearly devours Sophie before exiting the BFG’s home. The BFG gives Sophie some replacement clothes, as hers are ruined, and Sophie convinces the BFG to take her to Dream Country to catch dreams together. As they leave, they accidentally wake up the Bloodbottler, who alerts the other man-eating giants of the BFG’s presence. They torment and bully the BFG. As the pair escape during a thunderstorm which drives the man-eating giants into the cave, Sophie tells the BFG that he shouldn’t allow the other giants to bully him. Meanwhile, the Fleshlumpeater and the Bloodbottler find Sophie’s blanket (which she had dropped before) and set out to look for her.
The pair arrives in Dream Country and catch a dream each. The two then head to London to spread good dreams to sleeping children. As they do so, Sophie realizes that she has lost her blanket. The BFG realizes that the other man-eating giants know about her, and she wakes up outside the orphanage. He explains that the last human child he took and raised was discovered and eaten by the other giants. She throws herself out of her window in the hope he will appear again to catch her, and he does. When they return to the BFG’s home, the other giants barge in and upend the place looking for Sophie, destroying much of the BFG’s hard work. Sophie evades detection and the enraged BFG finally stands up to them and drives them off with a hot fire iron while using water on Fleshlumpeater.
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