Was the match between one of the greatest filmmakers of all time Steven Spielberg and the world’s number one storyteller Roald Dahl really going to be anything other than magical? Of course not.

Dahl, who spent a decade growing up in Bexley, is peerless in inspiring young readers with his deliciously inventive and brilliantly unhinged children’s tales such as Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox and James and the Giant Peach.

Spielberg, meanwhile, has won three Oscars and been nominated for 13 more in a career that has excelled in everything from historical epic to action/adventure to sci-fi, war movies and beyond.

The BFG fits sweetly into the groove where both are at their most powerful.

This is a movie more than worthy of the Amblin (the production company founded by Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy behind hits like ET, The Goonies, Back to the Future) brand.

Thanks to the filmmaker’s vision and the late Melissa Mathison’s masterful script, Dahl’s words and spirit are taken beyond the page, filling the gaps where in print a reader’s imagination would take over with the carefully observed flourishes of genuine artists.

Dahl’s inventions - foods such as snozzcumbers and frobscottle and words like scrumdiddlyumptious - become just as vivid and memorable as the first time you read them as a child.

Inspired by Dahl and brought to life by Spielberg, the world in this film is finely detailed and captivating – from the fuzzily nostalgic 1960s London to the BFG’s country cottage on a giant scale (with its Galleon bed and red phonebox seed holder) to his colourful dream workshop or dream land.

In every scene, there is something to leave you open-mouthed or chuckling to yourself.

Mark Rylance, whose last film Bridge of Spies was also directed by Spielberg and won him an Oscar, is the heart and soul as the big eared, muddle-mouthed friendly giant. His performance is made all the better thanks to some terrific motion capture.

And 11-year-old Ruby Barnhill, playing Sophie in her big screen debut, is a real revelation. Much of the film is a two-hander between Sophie and the BFG and not for one moment does she fail to hold her own.

Perhaps things get a bit stodgy towards the end but then again the scenes at Buckingham Palace with the Queen will probably be your favourites too.

As you would hope for in film directed by Spielberg and written by Mathison (whose big hit was ET), The BFG takes you on ride through the full spectrum of emotions.

It goes from the heart-racing action of a Giant Country dual to heart-pounding tension as Sophie is snatched or hidden from giants to the heart-rending moments where Sophie and the BFG’s relationship is built and tested, this film mostly hits the heart.

In fact, this film mostly hits the heart. Except the frequent laugh-out-loud moments – both subtle and obvious, clever and (very broad) - which will make the face and diaphragm ache from smiling and laughing.

The BFG (PG) is out Friday (July 22).

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