Holly on Hollywood
“A Monster Calls”
by Holly McClure
“A Monster Calls” is about 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) who has a hard time dealing with his mother’s battle with cancer (Felicity Jones), a father (Toby Kebbell) who’s leaving for America, a strict grandmother (Sigourney Weaver with a forced British accent) and constant bullying from classmates. Tormented by his problems, one day Conor looks out his window and sees a giant yew tree uproot and come to his house. The monster tree (voiced by Liam Neeson) offers to tell Conor three stories – then the boy must offer a story of his own. The stories guide Conor through his…
…fears on a journey of self-discovery, courage and finally, the truth.
The PG-13 (for mature themes and some scary CG tree/monster images) is an unusual terminal illness melodrama, about “a boy too old to be a kid, too young to be a man”, who is plagued by the fact that his mother is dying and he doesn’t want to face it. He has recurring nightmares about his mother dangling on the edge of a hole in the church graveyard, holding her hand until he can’t save her. Those nightmares, along with other intense scenes and (at times) a scary looking monster, make this movie too mature for younger kids and almost too childlike for adults. Neeson’s voice is magnificent and the visual effects truly make the tree monstrous at times and friendly at others. In the end, the British tale has a simple message; that it’s OK to grieve and then… let go.
~Holly On Hollywood~
Holly McClure is a multimedia personality with a career that spans over 20 years in the entertainment industry. Her background as a film critic, film and television producer, creative director, filmographer, radio and television host, author and pundit for family values, has established her expertise and made her a recognized advocate for family-friendly entertainment.
Holly was the first family film critic syndicated in over 365 newspapers with The Orange County Register. Her “Holly on Hollywood” movie reviews have been featured on TBN, Daystar and can now be seen on Uplift TV, The Word Network, UANetwork, Parables.tv and other affiliates.
In 2002, Mel Gibson asked Holly to come to Italy and film the behind-the-scenes interviews for The Passion of the Christ. She produced a one hour special, The Making of The Passion of the Christ (TBN, ION) and has since produced numerous press features for films like; Do You Believe, Dancer and the Dame, God’s Not Dead, The Frontier Boys, House, Thr3e, One Night With the King, Midnight Clear, The Visitation, Hangman’s Curse and others.
Holly is a charter member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and serves on the advisory boards of The Dove Foundation and The Parents Television Council. She is a proud mother, grandmother, mentor and Christian, and passionate about supporting and creating life-changing entertainment!