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Cinematic Enchantment, For a Change

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Occasionally, Hollywood releases diverting fare for kids but only rarely do family films qualify as dazzling works of art.  But Steven Spielberg’s The BFG—“The Big Friendly Giant”—is a gorgeous, touching enchantment, destined to become a classic.

Based on Roald Dahl’s 1982 best-seller, the movie follows an orphan girl into Giant Country where a huge new friend protects her from his scary, ravenous neighbors.

There’s hilarious interaction with Queen Elizabeth—and a good-natured nod to President Reagan. Every image glows with warmth and affection, the computer animation is breathtaking, and John Williams, as always, contributes a heart-tugging, glorious musical score.

Spielberg turns 70 this year, but he’s working at the top of his game: 2012’s Lincoln is probably the best film ever made about a president, last year’s Bridge of Spies was a masterful Cold War thriller, and now The BFG is a work of genius, with a dreamy, childlike quality that will delight both kids and parents.

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