Sundance and Cannes gem `Captain Fantastic` is Wes Anderson-inspired fun



I`m surprised that I hadn`t written about this film after having caught it at Sundance and then at Cannes. It`s an entertaining film, nothing more nothing less and I`m perfectly fine with that. Matthew Ross, Gavin Belson in HBO`s Silicon Valley, won Un Certain Regard`s directing award at Cannes. That came as a real shocker to most people, including myself, who attended the ceremony.

Set against a Pacific Northwest backdrop, Captain Fantastic has a father -indelibly played by Viggo Mortensen- devoted to raising his six kids in nature, away from normal society, with his own brand of teachings which include a fervent physical and intellectual education.

The film makes honest and straightforward comments on controversial issues in today's society that are often taboo (mental illness, sex, religion) Ross seems to also be tackling parenting and the difficult choices that must be made in regards to raising children in today's society. That he has to reach towards some cliches and over-played cinematic trappings to get his point doesn`t deter from the fact that you are with him and his characters throughout their adventure, and it`s a kooky one, which feels like Little Miss Sunshine directed by Wes Anderson, but with a straining penchant for sentimentality and self-satisfaction.

What I liked most though is the fact that, until the few minutes, Ross doesn`t tell you which side to be on. Viggo`s father is well-meaning and seems to have raised his kids to be genuinely smart and efficient children (an obvious blow to the flawed American educational system).

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