‘Captain Fantastic’

timthumb-phpAn alternative upbringing living in the forests of the Pacific northwest or the suburban worldliness of New Mexico and the outside world?

Ben (a splendidly self-assured, arrogant yet warm and loving Viggo Mortensen  – The Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence) and his now deceased wife had no doubts: their six kids are home-schooled, hunt for their own food and live in splendid isolation. But Leslie’s funeral forces the family into suburban conflict.

Warm, feel good yet oddly disturbing. All the kids may be precociously intelligent but the eldest, Bo (George MacKay – Pride, How I Live Now) is a fish out of water when talking to girls of his own age: six year old Zaja may be able to (in her own words) provide a synopsis of the American Bill of Rights, but has Ben created a balanced, empathic family or has he formed a cult or is he guilty of child abuse? There’s no question where the sympathies of writer/director Matt Ross (28 Hotel Rooms) lie in this intelligent, enthralling tale.

Rating: 78%

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