Juan Antonio Bayona – billed as J.A. – is a filmmaker to watch. In ten years he’s made three films, each of which has built upon his powerful capabilities as a storyteller of immense emotional capacity, able to find beauty in the most harrowing of environments. At the center of each of Bayona’s films – 2007’s THE ORPHANAGE, 2012’s THE IMPOSSIBLE, and A MONSTER CALLS, slated for release early next year – is a relationship between a mother and son. By pitting this relationship against natural, social, or even supernatural turmoil, Bayona takes what is already one of the strongest connections known to man and shows just how strong, how tough, and how resilient it can be when tested; he evokes almost overwhelming humanity from his work via this most-relatable of character dynamics, thus crafting some of the most gripping films of the last decade.
In the following edit from Jorge Luengo Ruiz, the mother-son relationships of Bayona’s films are juxtaposed against each other to show where they align, where they veer away from one another, and the emotional, thematic, and narrative impact of a mother’s love.
A MONSTER CALLS opens January 6th, 2017. Bayona’s next film, the as-yet-untitled JURASSIC WORLD sequel, opens June 22nd, 2018.
J.A Bayona / Mothers and Sons from Jorge Luengo Ruiz on Vimeo.