Captain Fantastic - 4 Stars
Quirky, unusual, well-structured - finally a movie that lets Viggo Mortensen shine.
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC follows a father raising his six children off-the-grid in the American wilderness. Far from the modern world, Ben (Mortensen) teaches his kids survival skills and home-schools them with a challenging curriculum of science, philosophy, literature and a healthy dose of anarchy. But when tragedy strikes, the family is forced to leave their self-created paradise on a road trip across Middle America. For the first time, the kids face the perils and excitement of the outside world and Ben begins to question the choices he has made for his family.
The greatest thing about this movie is that both the protagonist and antagonist have reasonable arguments, founded in proof - neither character is “wrong” in their eyes and the audience can empathise with both. The script is unusual and totally unpredictable - which is a change from Hollywood’s stereotypical pictures. While there are a wealth of characters all of them have strong character development and are played brilliantly by the acting ensemble.
Viggo Mortensen could easily earn an Oscar for his stunning and complex performance. George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks and Charlie Shotwell play Mortensen’s children and despite some of their young ages they are all incredible. It’s clear that the calibre of child actors is on the rise in cinema. The supporting cast of Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn and Frank Langella are also great.
Overall this movie is unpredictable, unique and one that is definitely worth watching.
Captain Fantastic is in cinemas September 8
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of eOne Entertainment