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Captain Fantastic (film)

Captain Fantastic
Captain Fantastic poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Matt Ross
Produced by
Written by Matt Ross
Starring
Music by Alex Somers
Cinematography Stéphane Fontaine
Edited by Joseph Krings
Production
company
  • Electric City Entertainment
  • ShivHans Pictures
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 23, 2016 (2016-01-23) (Sundance)
  • July 8, 2016 (2016-07-08) (United States)
Running time
118 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5 million[2]
Box office $14.9 million[3]

Captain Fantastic is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Matt Ross and starring Viggo Mortensen. The story centers on a family that is forced by circumstances to reintegrate into society after living in isolation for a decade.

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2016.[4] It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.[5][6] It was theatrically released on July 8, 2016 by Bleecker Street.[7] It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten independent films of 2016[8] and Mortensen was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor and at the 70th British Academy Film Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role[9] and the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 89th Academy Awards.[10]

Plot

Ben Cash, his wife Leslie and their six children live in the Washington wilderness. Ben and Leslie are former liberal activists disillusioned with capitalism and American life, and chose to instill survivalist skills, left wing politics, and philosophy in their children – educating them to think critically, training them to be self-reliant, physically fit and athletic, guiding them without technology, demonstrating the beauty of coexisting with nature and celebrating "Noam Chomsky Day" instead of Christmas.

Leslie is hospitalized for bipolar disorder and eventually commits suicide. Ben learns that his father-in-law Jack plans to hold a traditional funeral and burial, even though Leslie wished to be cremated. They argue over the phone and Jack threatens to have Ben arrested if he attends the funeral. He initially decides not to go and prevents his children from doing so, but then changes his mind, leading his children on a road trip into life outside the wilderness.

The family briefly stays at his sister Harper's house. She and her husband try to convince Ben that his children should attend school to receive a traditional education; Ben argues that his children are better educated than Harper's own children. Ben arrives at Leslie's funeral with his children and reads her will, which instructs her family to cremate her and flush her ashes down the toilet. In response, Jack has Ben forcibly removed.

Ben's children also start doubting their father and his parenting skills. His son Rellian accuses Ben of failing to treat Leslie's mental health. His son Bodevan accuses his father of failing to equip them for the real world by setting them up for a rude awakening when they grow up and shows him college acceptance letters from Ivy League schools for which Leslie had helped him apply. Rellian wants to live with his grandparents, who want to take custody of them. When Vespyr tries to climb into a window to "free" Rellian from his grandparents, she falls from the roof and narrowly avoids breaking her neck. Ben, shocked and guilty, allows Jack to take his children. The children soon bond with their grandparents, but decide to follow Ben again when he departs.

The children honor Leslie's wish and convince Ben to help them, exhuming her corpse, burning it in a self-made pyre and flushing her ashes down an airport toilet. Bodevan then leaves the family to travel through Namibia, while the rest settle on a farm. The final scene is the family around the kitchen table with their father, waiting for the school bus to arrive.

Cast

Production

The idea of the movie started for Matt Ross as he began questioning the choices he and his wife were making as parents. From there he wondered what would happen if he were "completely present" in his children's lives, while noting that modern technology had made that difficult.[11] In making the film Ross also took autobiographical bits from his own life, notably being raised in what he terms as "alternative-living communities" growing up.[11]

Viggo Mortensen was cast in February 2014.[12] That June, it was announced that George MacKay, Annalise Basso, Samantha Isler, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks and newcomer Charlie Shotwell had also been cast.[13] Much of the rest of the cast joined that July and August.[14][15]

Principal photography on the film commenced in July 2014, in Western Washington.[16]

Release

In July 2014, eOne Entertainment acquired international distribution rights to the film.[17] In August 2014, it was announced that Bleecker Street would distribute the film in the United States.[18] The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2016.[4][19] The film was released on July 8, 2016.[7] The film was aired in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, with Matt Ross winning the Best Director prize.[20]

Reception

Box office

Captain Fantastic grossed $5.9 million in the United States and Canada and $9 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $14.9 million.[3]

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 83% based on 185 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Captain Fantastic's thought-provoking themes—and an absorbing starring turn from Viggo Mortensen—add up to an above-average family drama with unexpected twists."[21] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 72 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[22] It received a ten-minute standing ovation at Cannes.[23]

Alonso Duralde of TheWrap gave the film a positive review, saying "The movie really belongs to Mortensen, who allows Ben to be exasperating, arrogant and impatient but also warm, loving and caring. He’s a tough but adoring father, a grieving widower and a passionate defender of his wife’s final wishes, and Mortensen plays all these notes and more with subtlety and grace".[24] Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "Boasting half a dozen impressive youth performances alongside a leading role that takes full advantage of Mortensen’s own sensitive, back-to-nature spirit, Captain Fantastic easily ranks among the most polished and relatable of this year’s Sundance offerings."[25]

One of the few negative reviews was from Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian. "There’s a meaty whiff of phoney-baloney in this fatuous and tiresome movie, replete with forced emotional crises and wrong notes, topped off with an excruciatingly unearned, sentimental ending. It's a low-cal version of Peter Weir’s 1986 movie The Mosquito Coast, starring someone who is essentially a cross between Charles Manson and Captain von Trapp."[26]

Accolades

List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards February 6, 2017 Best Actor Viggo Mortensen Nominated [27]
Academy Awards February 26, 2017 Best Actor Viggo Mortensen Nominated [28]
British Academy Film Awards February 12, 2017 Best Actor in a Leading Role Viggo Mortensen Nominated [29]
Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival July 31, 2016 Save Energy, Save Earth Film Award Captain Fantastic Won
Cannes Film Festival May 22, 2016 Un Certain Regard - Prize for Best Director Matt Ross Won [30]
Prix Un Certain Regard Captain Fantastic Nominated
Costume Designers Guild February 21, 2017 Excellence in Contemporary Film Courtney Hoffman Nominated [31]
Critics' Choice Awards December 11, 2016 Best Actor in a Comedy Viggo Mortensen Nominated [32]
Deauville American Film Festival September 11, 2016 Audience Award Captain Fantastic Won
Jury Prize Captain Fantastic Won
Grand Prix Captain Fantastic Nominated
Dorian Awards January 26, 2017 Unsung Film of the Year Captain Fantastic Nominated [33]
Evening Standard British Film Awards December 8, 2016 Best Supporting Actor George MacKay Nominated [34]
Florida Film Critics Circle December 23, 2016 Best Actor Viggo Mortensen Nominated [35]
Golden Globe Awards January 8, 2017 Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Viggo Mortensen Nominated [9]
Houston Film Critics Society January 6, 2017 Best Actor Viggo Mortensen Nominated [36]
Best Poster Captain Fantastic Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards February 25, 2017 Best Male Lead Viggo Mortensen Nominated [37]
IndieWire Critics Poll December 19, 2016 Best Actor Viggo Mortensen 8th place [38]
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival July 9, 2016 Audience Award Captain Fantastic Won
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild February 19, 2017 Feature-Length Motion Picture – Contemporary Make-Up Akemi Hart and Karen McDonald Nominated [39]
Nantucket Film Festival June 27, 2016 Audience Award Captain Fantastic 2nd place
Online Film Critics Society January 3, 2017 Best Actor Viggo Mortensen Nominated [40]
Rome Film Festival October 22, 2016 BNL People's Choice Award Captain Fantastic Won
San Diego Film Critics Society December 12, 2016 Best Actor Viggo Mortensen Runner-up [41]
Satellite Awards February 19, 2017 Best Film Captain Fantastic Nominated [42]
Best Actor Viggo Mortensen Won[a]
Best Original Screenplay Matt Ross Nominated
Best Costume Design Courtney Hoffman Nominated
Seattle International Film Festival June 12, 2016 Golden Space Needle Award for Best Film Captain Fantastic Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards January 29, 2017 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Viggo Mortensen Nominated [43]
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The cast of Captain Fantastic Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association December 18, 2016 Best Actor Viggo Mortensen Nominated [44]

Notes

References

  1. ^ "Captain Fantastic". British Board of Film Classification. July 21, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Captain Fantastic – PowerGrind". The Wrap. Retrieved April 3, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Captain Fantastic (2016)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved March 30, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Sundance Institute Completes Feature Film Lineup For 2016 Sundance Film Festival". sundance.org. December 7, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  5. ^ "2016 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup". IndieWire. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Penderson, Erik (February 4, 2016). "‘Captain Fantastic’ Gets Summer Release From Bleecker Street". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  8. ^ "National Board of Review Announces 2016 Award Winners". National Board of Review. November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "Golden Globes 2017: The Complete List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Oscar Nominations 2017: Viggo Mortensen on 'Captain Fantastic' Nod". abcnews.go.com. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Tedder, Michael. "This Silicon Valley Actor Made One of the Strangest and Most Beautiful Films of the Summer". Esquire. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  12. ^ [deadline.com]
  13. ^ Yamato (June 27, 2014). "Viggo Mortensen Starrer ‘Captain Fantastic’ Adds Cast Of Youngsters". Jen. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  14. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (July 18, 2014). "Frank Langella To Star With Viggo Mortensen In ‘Captain Fantastic’". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  15. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 4, 2014). "‘Captain Fantastic’ Enlists More Cast As eOne Boards Viggo Mortensen Pic". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  16. ^ Keary, Polly (July 22, 2014). "Viggo Mortensen filming in upper Sky Valley". MonroeMonitor.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  17. ^ Nancy Tartaglione. "eOne Takes International On Captain Fantastic, Zahn, Hahn, Pyle, Moriarty Join Film | Deadline". deadline.com. Retrieved March 15, 2016. 
  18. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 13, 2014). "Toronto: Former Focus Co-CEO Andrew Karpen Launches New Distribution Company". TheHollywoodReporter.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Captain Fantastic". Sundance.org. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  20. ^ ‘Olli Mäki,’ ‘Captain Fantastic’ Win Big in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.
  21. ^ "Captain Fantastic (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved March 30, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Captain Fantastic Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 29, 2016. 
  23. ^ deadline.com
  24. ^ Duralde, Alonso (January 24, 2016). "Captain Fantastic’ Sundance Review: Viggo Mortensen Raises an Off-the-Grid Family in This Touching Dramedy". TheWrap. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  25. ^ Debrudge, Peter (January 23, 2016). "Sundance Film Review 'Captain Fantastic'". Variety. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  26. ^ The Guardian
  27. ^ Rahman, Abid (December 15, 2016). "Denzel Washington's 'Fences' Leads Nominations for AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  28. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (January 24, 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  29. ^ Ritman, Alex (January 9, 2017). "BAFTA Awards: 'La La Land' Leads Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Hell or High Water at Cannes Film Festival". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  31. ^ Tschorn, Adam. "'La La Land,' 'Hidden Figures,' 'Nocturnal Animals,' 'The Crown' among nominees for Costume Designers Guild Awards". latimes.com. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  32. ^ "La La Land Leads with 12 Nominations for the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards". Critics' Choice. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  33. ^ Kilday, Gregg (January 12, 2017). "'Moonlight' Leads Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics' Dorian Award Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  34. ^ Moore, William (November 17, 2016). "Evening Standard British Film Awards - The Longlist". London Evening Standard. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  35. ^ "‘MOONLIGHT’ LEADS 2016 FLORIDA FILM CRITICS AWARDS NOMINATIONS". Florida Film Critics Circle. December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Houston Film Critics Nominations for 2016 Films". MovieAwardsPlus.com. December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  37. ^ Warren, Matt (November 22, 2016). "2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced!". Independent Spirit Awards. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  38. ^ Greene, Steve (December 19, 2016). "2016 IndieWire Critics Poll: Full List of Results". IndieWire. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  39. ^ Petski, Denise (January 11, 2017). "‘Fantastic Beasts’, ‘La La Land’ Among Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  40. ^ "20th Annual Online Film Critics Society Awards Nominations". Online Film Critics Society. December 27, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  41. ^ "San Diego Film Critics Society’s 2016 Award Winners". December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  42. ^ Kilday, Gregg (November 29, 2016). "Satellite Awards Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  43. ^ "SAG Awards 2017: The Complete List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. December 14, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  44. ^ "2016 StLFCA Annual Award Nominations". St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 

External links