A boy (Lewis MacDougall) whose mother (Felicity Jones) is dying finds solace in an Ent-like tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson). Lovely water-colored animated scenes illustrate the monster’s spiritual teachings, one of which is that not every tragedy that happens in life can be remedied or punished. Your attitude toward this film, of course, depends on your own life experiences. To some, this unabashedly emotional, three-hanky tearjerker will be a solid fantasy drama, a portrait of coping. Others may find it a tad melodramatic and obsessed with its own grandeur. Its artistry, though, is undeniable. Japanese title: Kaibutsu wa sasayaku (108 min)
About Don Morton
Don Morton has viewed some 6,000 movies, frequently awake. A bachelor and avid cyclist, he currently divides his time between Tokyo and a high-tech 4WD super-camper somewhere in North America.