Friday, August 19, 2016

Captain Fantastic (2016)

IMDb plot summary: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.
Directed by Matt Ross. Starring Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Nicholas Hamilton, and Frank Langella.

(Mild spoilers.)

Every so often I watch a movie that is good quality, solid script, excellent acting, creative idea, but I just don't care much about it. This is one of those movies. I can pull out individual scenes that touched me - the poor oldest boy's first encounter with the opposite sex, the second boy's furious reaction to his mother's death, the uncomfortable scene where the emotional request to celebrate Christmas is smushed down with cold logic - but it's hard to parse it as a whole. While I assume it wasn't deliberate, it was a bit frustrating to me that in a movie whose plot focused all around an unseen woman, only the male characters got any character development. I was incredibly curious as to why the older two girls seemed to not mind their total isolation at all, while the older two boys were clearly pushing the boundaries a little bit. The movie's ending is also unsatifying, wrapping up a very complicated question with an oversimplifed answer. It's a good watch, especially for some compelling acting on behalf of the boys in the family, but it didn't blow me away.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Captain Fantastic > Days of Heaven
Captain Fantastic < Children of Men
Captain Fantastic < Children of Paradise
Captain Fantastic < Hancock
Captain Fantastic > Trainwreck
Captain Fantastic < Twin Sisters
Captain Fantastic > They Made Me a Fugitive
Captain Fantastic > 2012
Captain Fantastic > Ballet Shoes
Captain Fantastic > Runaway Jury
Captain Fantastic > The Women
Final spot: #1131 out of 2494.

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