Grief has been known to affect people in different ways, but never has talking to a tree monster been one of them, until now.
Connor is just like any other twelve year boy, except for one tiny detail; his mother is dying of cancer. Rather than admit defeat and play into the hands of despair, Connor begins drawing to take his mind off the inevitable. When one of Connor’s drawings of a tree becomes a reality, he can’t help but get angry at his creation for not coming to his mother’s aid, which after all, was why Connor drew him.
As is to be expected from the likes of Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson, the acting is both captivating and emotionally envelops you within the story. But what truly comes as a pleasant surprise is the performance given by Lewis MacDougall (Connor), who, for such a young actor, excels in capturing the audience’s attention and pulls on the heartstrings with such emotion you almost forget that he is acting at all.
From the brief fairy-tale animations that have been generated to imitate water-colour paints, to the seamless CGI that has created the monster who holds this story’s soul, this attention to detail and pure creativity that has been injected into this film is nothing short of stunning.
But let us not cast any illusions; whilst this film is full of vibrant tales of love and courage, it is, at heart, a catastrophic tragedy.