“We’re defined by our actions, not our words.”
I heard a lot of talk about Captain Fantastic on many forms of social media. I never heard about it before, and I took to YouTube to find a trailer and I knew right after the trailer ended… I had to see this movie. It looked like one of those indie gems that I really like watching, it looked unique and original.
It just so happens that I was able to get my hands on a copy prior to writing an Inspirational Movie Monday blog post. Which is kind of a double whammy, I get to review a new film and give my readers an Inspirational Movie Monday post. Much like last Wednesday when I saw an Advanced Screening of Moonlight, I was able to get both elements in there, and on top of that I was able to add a great flick to my rounds of movies I like to watch to feel inspired….Captain Fantastic, I’m happy to say is another welcomed addition.
Captain Fantastic is a Comedy, Drama and Romance film about a family living in the forest. The father, devoted to raising his 6 kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education, is forced to leave the forest due to an event and enter the world, which challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent.
The film is written and directed by Matt Ross. His other film that he wrote and directed is called 28 Hotel Rooms (2012). Matt Ross has one of those really weird eyes and really sensational writing abilities, which is really what you want out of a Writer/Director. But Matt Ross really transcends both labels as being a writer and director and becomes more of a story teller. He captures the essence of what makes a film great, but he keeps the heart of the film beating through each different scene. Ross utilizes very subtle camera movements, but the framing of his shots are a bit weird to me. I haven’t seen stuff quite like it and it adds to the uniqueness of the film. After this, I’m extremely interested to see what Matt Ross directs and writes next, and I hope its something as lovely as this film.
The film stars Viggo Mortensen as the father – Ben, George MacKay as Bo, Kathryn Hahn as Harper, and Steve Zahn as Dave. I always feel bad when I write the cast out, and omit some of the people just so that you’re not super bogged down with reading all these different actors filmography, if I did every major character in the film, then you’d be reading this for a while, and I want you to go out and see the film for yourself not be stuck here for hours reading this! ANYWAYS MINI RANT ASIDE!
Viggo Mortensen’s filmography consists of such films as Witness (1985), Prison (1987), Carlito’s Way (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (2001-2003), A History Of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007), The Road (2009), and A Dangerous Method (2011). Mortensen is always a pleasure to watch on screen, whether its his more subtle roles in Crimson Tide or A Dangerous Method, his action roles such as The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy or his more deeper roles like Captain Fantastic, A History Of Violence or Eastern Promises. You always know if you’re watching a Viggo Mortensen film, its going to be an interesting watch, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film with him in it that I didn’t end up liking. The man can act.
George MacKay’s filmography consists of such films as Defiance (2008), 11.22.63 TV Series (2016). I’m not too familiar with his work to be honest, These were the only two roles out of his IMDb page I recognized. Thats a shame really, he is a really great actor and I would be interested in finding some of his other films to watch, he was great in this movie.
Kathryn Hahn’s filmography consists of such films as How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days (2003), Anchorman (2004), Crossing Jordan TV Series (2001-2007), Revolutionary Road (2008), Step Brothers (2008), Bad Words (2013), The Visit (2015), and Bad Moms (2016). I think Hahn is a lovely actor, I like that all her films are a little bit different, she can play the downright hilarious comedy roles, but she can play the dramatic roles and pull of both with flying colours. She wasn’t in this film much, but what was there was quality over quantity.
Steve Zahn’s filmography consists of such films as Crimson Tide (1995), Stuart Little (1999), Saving Silverman (2001), Joy Ride (2001), National Security (2003), Rescue Dawn (2006), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), and Treme TV Series (2010-2013). I remember enjoying Zahn’s acting when I was much younger, and then I just fell out of touch with him over the years. I don’t think he’s a bad actor, but his style usually isn’t my thing, but theres a few stand out roles that I liked him in and I definitely want to watch Treme eventually. Much like Hahn’s work in Captain Fantastic, Zahn’s was quality over quantity as he wasn’t in the film too much, as much as Hahn was because they were spouses.
I don’t want to categorize all the kids under one category in this movie, but I don’t want to keep you here for longer than I have too. The other 5 kids in this movie were excellent, they were subtle and not over the top, they were real and not little bratty kids like you usually see in movies. They seemed more like young adults than kids, and I feel like these kids after this movie are definitely going to go places. They were all excellent, just really well casted and fantastic little young actors.
The soundtrack to this movie deserves to be talked about, there was a mixture of music, mainly classical that really complimented the great cinematography in the film and the subtle camera movements. Whenever they were on the road, classical music or really soothing music would play, and to me I always imagine that the music is wind and is just skipping along with the movement of the camera and what the film is portraying. I have to say my favourite scene in this movie, without spoiling it, is when the family sings a rendition of Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses, not only did I think that their rendition was better than Guns N’ Roses, but I actually went back after the film was over to replay the scene twice. Just wow.
This movie really hit me and inspired me. I’m a very much go with the flow type of person most of the time, but when I am in a different surrounding and I get outside my comfort zone, I get a little shook up. I like being around things I know, but its weird sometimes too because I like trying new things… yeah I’m a bit of a weirdo…its okay. But this film definitely showed me that doing your own thing and being your own person is not weird, but it makes you happy and being happy is all that really matters at the end of the day.
Captain Fantastic gets a 4.5/5 from me.
I was really blown away by this film and I can’t wait to watch it again. I had to let it sit for a little bit before I reviewed it, but if you feel like this film is for you, definitely check it out. You won’t be disappointed. Its highly original, and I for one haven’t seen anything quite like it.
If you’re looking for a little bit more originality in your film watching, start watching these indie films. I started watching them a couple years ago and I have to say theres been a lot that have become favourites. Hollywood isn’t out of fresh ideas, you just have to look a little deeper.
Until Next Time, Stay Inspired!
Oscar Predictions for Nominations –
Best Actor In A Leading Role – Viggo Mortensen
Best Original Screenplay – Matt Ross