When I first started this film blog I related the films to real life when and where possible. Many of us go to the cinema as a way of escaping, but we also learn a great deal from film, films make us think and come up with opinion. My aim is to go back to this way of blogging.
This film tells the story of a boy named Connor struggling with the fact that his mother has cancer. Along with this he is bullied at school and his relationship with his dad and Grandma are non existent. He only has the support of his mum, who of course is suffering herself. This is an extremely hard hitting film, not only because it is through a young boys eyes, but because we are all affected by cancer.
I looked at the statistics from The Macmillan charity and it is shocking viewing. The number of people with cancer in the uk in 2015 was 2.5 million. This is an increase of 500,000 over 5 years. More people over 65 are contracting cancer, it is estimated that by 2020 4 million people in the uk will have cancer. There is an increase in those surviving up to 5 years as treatment and research improves. Cancer is now a major part of our lives and it looks like it is here to stay.
The film reveals how cancer affects the person suffering and how it affects the family. It is hard to imagine what it is like for a young boy going through this situation. A young boy who already has problems fitting in. He is helped by a tree monster who comes from his and his mothers favourite tree. He comes at 12:07 which is a significant time in the story. The monster arrives at 12:07 and at first appears quite scary putting fear into the young boy. The tree monster comes to life and tells the boy a story with a stong message at its core. The story’s are animated and come from hundreds of years ago when Knights and Witches roamed the land. The boy is hoping that the monster can cure his mum.
In between meetings with the monster the boy is suffering. He has to cope with physical and mental abuse from bullies at school, try to get on with his frosty Grandmother and cope with the fact that his father is in America and rarely visits. This is a lot for a young boy to take on.
The monster soon becomes less scary and Connor begins to hope that the tree will cure his mum. He gets frustrated that the tree poses more questions and riddles rather than answers and solutions. Despite this he looks to 12:07 as a time to escape. There are eventually answers and the monsters role in helping the boy becomes clear.
This is a brilliant film taking on a very difficult subject. Lewis MacDougall who plays Connor is perfect for the role and performs amazingly well. Felicity Jones plays mum and her change physically is scary as she takes on cancer through many medicines. Sigourney Weaver is grandma and plays her pefectly. She too is suffering as she sees her daughter decline. This is not an easy watch, but the monster helps you see this from a childs view and Liam Neesons soothing voice is wonderful. I recommend you take tissues because you may well up as you watch.