HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
   
 
  Captain Fantastic The Wilderness Family
Year: 2016
Director: Matt Ross
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, George Mackay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Trin Miller, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Erin Moriarty, Missi Pyle, Ann Dowd, Elijah Stevenson, Teddy Van Ee
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A deer wanders through the forest of the Pacific Northwest, unaware it is being observed by a teenage boy camouflaged against the foliage. Suddenly, he makes his move and plunges a knife into the animal's throat, killing it and bringing the other six members of his family around to carry it back to their woodland home. This is the way they have been taught to survive in the wilderness by the father, Ben (Viggo Mortensen), and their number should have been seven, but their mother has been struggling with a bipolar disorder and was recently hospitalised, so life in this tiny community continues much as it has for years, with whatever Ben says whatever the kids do. However, when bad news reaches them, how much longer can this state of affairs continue?

Actor turned director Matt Ross won himself a cult hit with Captain Fantastic, a title that really needed a question mark after it, since it's up for debate how fantastic Ben's tutelage is. For some members of the audience, he was the embodiment of the free will and spirit that made America great, for others he was against that very thing he claimed to espouse, and Ross was so keen to deliver a balanced perspective that both camps could have agreed with that either could have been correct. All through the story the father is challenged by other characters as to the wisdom of his extreme home schooling regime, initially by his wife who we learn has committed suicide in that hospital.

Was it Ben's strict tenets that pushed her over the edge into oblivion, or would she have been ill anyway, her final child plunging her into a post-natal depression she found impossible to escape? Or was it a combination of the two? Again, the writer-director's moves to be all things to all people refused to pin the blame on any one person, even though Ben's unconventional obsessions would appear to an outsider to be foolhardy; you had to make up your own mind with this one. Nevertheless, you could, if you were open to Ben's philosophies, understand how he simultaneously had a point in his leaving society behind and had lost the plot by dragging along the kids who had no real say in the matter.

Most of them are quite happy to be there, yet they have not experienced life outside of what amounts to a ludicrously extended outward bound course so are not in a position to judge. Only the eldest, Bodevan (George Mackay) - the children have been given "unique" names by their parents - has applied for universities and the learning that Ben and his wife have offered him has made him something of an academic prodigy, but he cannot bring himself to admit to his father that he could be leaving the family behind for a conventional education, fearful of his reaction. In light of the way, for example, Ben insists on celebrating Noam Chomsky day instead of Christmas, you can see his beliefs in the right on and liberty-fixated could become as much a tyranny as a Bible-bashing patriarch denying his kids any free thought.

Certainly when to appease the grieving offspring Ben decides to take them to the funeral, much against the wishes of his wife's wealthy, conservative father (Frank Langella) who is furious with him, then you can envisage little but trouble ahead as the family have opportunities to interact with those who have not thrown off the yoke of oppressive conventional thinking or whatever Ben thinks he is doing. But Ross did an interesting thing, he found the humour in the situation, and there are some big laughs as the intellectually smart but socially clueless brood meet with largely bemused ordinary citizens. This appeared to be leading up to a major confrontation, and if it had ended about twenty minutes before it did Ross might have been on to something provocative and mentally stimulating, which made it all the more of a pity that he gave in to sentimentality and offered up a conclusion so twinkly that it might as well have been taking place in Ben's dream. Ending on a folk version of Sweet Child O' Mine was not as moving as he seemed to believe, and made you consider that this lot would be very hard to take if you met them in reality. Music by Alex Somers.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1830 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: