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The Clarion Beauty of A Monster Calls

The Clarion Beauty of A Monster Calls

A MONSTER CALLS

Patrick Ness on adapting his beloved book for the big screen.

A Monster Calls, an emotionally fraught new film based on Patrick Ness's 2011 children's novel, follows young Conor (Lewis MacDougall) as he grapples with school bullying and the impending loss of his terminally ill mom (Felicity Jones). As the boy's inner torments manifest as an actual monster (a breathtaking CGI tree-man voiced by Liam Neeson), some might read the work as a queer allegory, even if Ness, who's gay himself, says, "I'd never impress a meaning on my story." Ness inherited the book's material from writer Siobhan Dowd, who had only the premise for it before succumbing to cancer. His tale honors her and his younger self. "It always comes back to the teen I was," Ness says. "I longed for characters who talked about truths I never could. I write for that kid because I know the rough time he had."

A Monster Calls will play in select theaters beginning December 23. Watch a trailer below:

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