Imagine growing up in the pacific northwest with no internet, no cell phones and no television. The film Captain Fantastic takes you on a journey with Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings trilogy) who is raising his six children off the grid. While most schools teach children about math and science, he is teaching them about how to hunt and gather your own food. The story begins where his wife has tragically passed away and he along with family travel across the country to attend the funeral where they are not very welcome.
Mortesen’s parenting style in this film can only be described as nontraditional. Nothing is off limits with him as he discusses all things with hid children including politics, communism and sex. he also reiterates them to stick it to the man which seems to be a theme throughout the film. It makes for some great laughs as he explains the birds and the bees to his son who is no younger than six. Mortensen performance is very honest and compassionate it’s really no wonder why the academy recognized him. This film will be looked back upon as his career continues. What also makes the film memorable are the children, their chemistry and interactions with one another looks as if we are just a camera crew filming their everyday lives. While most of these young actors are unknown, they should definitely look forward to the bright careers ahead of them.
This is an interesting take for the writer/director Matt Ross (28 Hotel rooms) who has made a name for himself as a character actor for years, steps behind the camera again. It’s obvious that this was a big bold decision on his part but what executed beautifully. Ross shows us what it would be like if we did raise our children in world without all the technological distraction, one thinks it might be the best way. Yet the film teaches us that we can give our kids a little structure but there’s always room to stick it to the man.