Having just finished viewing Captain Fantastic, I can't think of a better time to write about the film. it's a small indie release that came out this past year and is now up for a whole slew of awards. Hell, it's probably won some of them already, because it really is an award-worthy movie. To briefly summarize, a family has to deal with the death of the matriarch and the interaction with others on their journey proves to be somewhat tumultuous. The family has been raised in the wilderness, surviving on what's found in nature, purchasing only what's necessary. This family dichotomy leads to some tension from extended family members of the mother. I think that about sums it up.
I suppose there's a bunch of underlying themes within the movie that are brought to light by the various children in the family. Called into question are a slew of societal norms and practices, from obesity to the ridiculousness of wealth, and excessive land ownership. As the children range in age from I'd think around five to eighteen, the commentary is delivered in a unique and pleasing way. Hearing an eight year old recite parts of the Bill Of Rights and then clarify what that bill is in their own words is a pretty rare occurrence. Children celebrating Noam Chomsky made me chuckle because although it is a bit absurd, it is pretty great. The children were portrayed in the film as well above the societal standard for even intellectual adults and there were even scenes meant to specifically point out how intelligent the children are. Adversely, the children aren't necessarily adapted to "normal" society in the common sense. Big chain retail stores, money as power, those in charge ruling over those without power, etc. are all dealt with at various points throughout the movie. This maladaptive theme manifests in a couple ways with a couple of the children as well as the father (well-played by Viggo Mortensen). I don't want to give away some of the pivotal plot points of the film, so I'll attempt to simply suggest that the points are quite good and really allow for the audience to enjoy the trip that the family is taking.
I think overall the movie is sweet and has a charm not unlike another favourite of mine, Little Miss Sunshine. It is categorized as both a comedy and a drama, but the former is misleading. While there are a few humorous parts, I wouldn't call it a comedy by any stretch. It's definitely an indie drama, but those laughs do keep the film from becoming weighed down by its own material. I recommend the film to those that like seeing children suggest "sticking it to the man" and people that appreciate a bit of rebellion from the humdrum routine carved into society on a daily basis, it's a must-see. I applaud the children in the film for really embodying the intellectual and physically strenuous roles with an apparent ease. I feel like I should watch more films with Viggo Mortensen and might just do that.