A Monster Calls hardly monstrous at all

Jarrod Sierocki

A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom’s terminal illness.

Liam Neeson as the tree in A Monster Calls

Rating: three stars (3 out of 5)

Director: J.A. Bayona (The Impossible)

Starring: Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Sigourney Weaver.

Branching out for a life lesson

A refined, imaginative and serenely composed family drama, A Monster Calls has been dutifully adapted from the 2011 novel by Patrick Ness.

Those who cherish the book will be relieved to learn the movie version does not mess about with the core premise : it is hard enough growing up, let alone doing so when life is doing its utmost to grind you down.

Jarrod Sierocki

In A Monster Calls, Liam Neeson is 100% bark, 0% bite. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Such is the tough going experienced daily by 12-year-old Conor (Lewis McDougall), a smart, sensitive and artistically inclined young lad.

However, it is what happens to Conor of a night that is of the utmost importance to A Monster Calls.

Come 12.07am ea…

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