HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, The A Night At The Museum
Year: 2013
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Stars: Kyle Catlett, Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Callum Keith Rennie, Niamh Wilson, Jakob Davies, Rick Mercer, Dominique Pinon, Julian Richings, Richard Jutras, Mairtin O'Carrigan, Michel Perron, Dawn Ford, Susan Glover, James Bradford
Genre: Comedy, Drama, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: T.S. Spivet (Kyle Catlett) is a genius, there's no doubt about it. Intellectually he runs rings around his contemporaries, but then again he is only ten years old. He lives in Montana where he and his twin brother Layton (Jakob Davies) used to enjoy experimenting with the way water would run depending on which side of the mountains they would be standing on, but otherwise they didn't have much in common. T.S. was well aware his father (Callum Keith Rennie) preferred his sibling who was far more of the outdoors type, but he wasn't the apple of his mother's eye either: Dr Clair (Helena Bonham Carter) was too wrapped up in her insect research to really pay attention to her offspring, and T.S.'s sister Gracie (Niamh Wilson) wasn't exactly sympathetic...

Director and screenwriter (with Guillaume Laurent) Jean-Pierre Jeunet was searching for a book to adapt when he settled on Reif Larsen's cult novel about the prodigy T.S. Spivet, though as was often the case the fans of the original were wont to prefer it and judge the movie as having missed what made it the gem they considered it to be. That was not to say there was no worth to be found here, as Jeunet's meticulous style provided great pleasure merely by dint of watching it applied to his carefully crafted imagery, at times cluttered, other times plain yet striking, but always painterly and captivating, no matter that the material didn't always match it in diverting qualities. In this case, the balance was somewhere near to his best, though he was not able to prevent it feeling episodic.

That needn't be a bad thing in itself though the film was probably at its most accomplished in its "road movie" middle section where the structure lent itself to the various encounters the juvenile hero has on his journey to the Smithsonian. This is ostensibly to deliver a speech to an audience of the greatest scientific minds around who believe that he is actually an adult who has invented a perpetual motion machine, but they're only half right as T.S. has indeed created the machine (ever the pedant, he points out it will run down in four hundred years, so isn't strictly perpetual in its motion). Yet there's more to his running away from home to receive the plaudits he so richly deserves as there's an issue back at the farmhouse he is reluctant to face up to and this offers the ideal way out.

For a while, but T.S. is burdened with guilt, and it's here that the themes of the intellectual versus the emotional are highlighted. It's all very well, says the film, stretching your brain, be it mighty or otherwise, into fresh heights of incredible knowledge and achievement (personal or public), but the problem remains that you are still a human being, and you can experience great highs but more importantly harrowing lows as well. The way the world works appears to be that the worst aspects in it tend to eclipse the most joyful, and that is illustrated by the boy's mental agility, a source of his happiness, contrasted with the grief that he feels when the death of Layton weighs heavily on his shoulders. It was an accident, but no matter how you could explain this to the ten-year-old, his sense of responsibility is overwhelming.

Indeed, it can last a lifetime, that shame you can be stuck with for those occasions that may well have been out of your hands, but you cannot shake the sensation there should have been something you should have done to avoid it. By the end of this, you hope T.S. has met his problems and overcome them, but in the meantime you can appreciate some nice character work, leaning on caricature in some cases though not to the film's detriment at all, from the cast of well-known faces and less familiar ones, all of whom were nicely directed to what amounted to extended vignettes in many cases. Judy Davis as an official at the Smithsonian who regards her new charge as a moneymaker (he has told everyone he is an orphan, another example of running away from his pain) added a nicely acid note (and a few swearwords), Carter as the distracted parent managed a sweetness when she finally acknowledges her son's worries, but it was Catlett's show really, not too precocious and the source of genuine concern when he's in peril. Music by Denis Sanacore.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1885 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: