Screened as part of NZIFF 2014

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet 3D 2013

L’extravagant voyage du jeune et prodigieux T.S. Spivet

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet Big Nights

The director of Amelie and Delicatessen takes to 3D and delights with his abundant visual wit in this tale of a ten-year-old boy genius’s attempts to understand his weird family and the even weirder wider world.

Canada / France In English
105 minutes 3D / CinemaScope / DCP


Frédéric Brillion
Gilles Legrand
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Suzanne Girard


Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant. Based on the novel The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen


Thomas Hardmeier


Hervé Schneid

Production designer

Jean-André Carriere

Costume designer

Madeline Fontaine


Denis Sanacore


Helena Bonham Carter (Dr Clair)
Judy Davis (Jibsen)
Callum Keith Rennie (father)
Kyle Catlett (T.S. Spivet)
Niamh Wilson (Gracie)
Jakob Davies (Layton)
Rick Mercer (Roy)
Dominique Pinon (Two Clouds)
Julian Richings (Ricky)
Richard Jutras (Mr Stenpok)


A glorious storybook America of open prairies, cross-country railroads and zany inventions abounds with pictorial delights in this 3D extravaganza from Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, Delicatessen ). T.S. is a boy prodigy whose special scientific talents go unappreciated on the Montana ranch where he lives with his entomologist mother (Helena Bonham Carter), his Marlboro Man dad (Callum Keith Rennie) and his bored teenage sister. The accidental death of T.S.’s older brother is a sadness hovering in the background as each follows his or her pursuit – until T.S. is contacted about his perpetual motion machine by the Smithsonian Museum. Blissfully unaware that the brilliant inventor is only ten years old, they invite him to Washington. T.S. steals out one night to undertake the journey alone…

“The quirky charm, visual wit and melancholy undertow of Reif Larsen’s The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet translate joyously to the screen in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, a rare example of source and adaptation making a perfect match. This unlikely but involving tale of a child prodigy making his way across the United States to collect a reward for his brilliance has been designed to be delightful for parents* and children alike…

Like Amelie, which came about as close to being a 3D film as a 2D film can be, Spivet is about how the imagination is the best instrument for making sense of the world. The film’s job is to make that imagination, in this case T.S. Spivet’s, credible and engaging, and Jeunet succeeds beautifully.”  — Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter