Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

Captain Fantastic 2016

Directed by Matt Ross

Renaissance man Viggo Mortensen steals the show as a solo father whose idealistic way of raising his six children off the grid comes under attack in this energetic, comedic drama.

USA In English
119 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
M (offensive language, nudity, suicide, sexual references and content that may disturb)

Director/Screenplay

Producers

Lynette Howell Taylor
,
Jamie Patricof
,
Shivani Rawat
,
Monica Levinson

Photography

Stéphane Fontaine

Editor

Joseph Krings

Production designer

Russell Barnes

Costume designer

Courtney Hoffman

Music

Alex Somers

With

Viggo Mortensen (Ben)
,
Frank Langella (Jack)
,
George MacKay (Bo)
,
Samantha Isler (Kielyr)
,
Annalise Basso (Vespyr)
,
Nicholas Hamilton (Rellian)
,
Shree Crooks (Zaja)
,
Charlie Shotwell (Nai)
,
Ann Dowd (Abigail)
,
Erin Moriarty (Claire)
,
Missi Pyle (Ellen)
,
Kathryn Hahn (Harper)
,
Steve Zahn (Dave)

Festivals

Sundance
,
Cannes (Un Certain Regard) 2016

Awards

Best Director (Un Certain Regard)
,
Cannes Film Festival 2016

Elsewhere

In this energetic and touching dramedy, Viggo Mortensen kids his own image, playing an anarcho-survivalist solo dad. In a remote Washington state forest, he’s raising his six children to be super-fit in body and mind. These mini philosopher kings are equally confident stalking a deer, skinning it, critiquing Lolita, Middlemarch and The Brothers Karamazov, or improvising a musical jamboree around the campfire. Santa Claus is a joke to them, but they do get festive for Noam Chomsky’s birthday.

This idyll of off-the-grid existence is challenged when their mother dies in a New Mexico hospital. The long road trip to rescue her from the Christian funeral planned by her conservative parents may well remind you of Little Miss Sunshine. The kids are confronted for the first time with ‘normal’ American life. They’ve never seen fat people before. But nor have they seen their father subjected to the onslaught of criticism coming from his in-laws. The fantastic dad is obliged to defend his rigorous regime – and the film’s register moves from affectionate satire to a more heart-tugging evocation of the joys and pitfalls of education.

“It’s always tricky using a modifier like ‘fantastic’ in a movie’s title, because if the film doesn’t live up to it, the snarky review headlines just sort of write themselves. Sadly for copy editors the world over, Captain Fantastic won’t have that problem. Not only is it wonderful – it is heartfelt, comedic, gorgeous and just the right amount of sad.” — Brian Moylan, The Guardian