Posted May 1, 2014 by MikeD in Drama
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet
“The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet” is the newest film by visionary director Jean- Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, The City of Lost Children), starring Kyle Catlett as a 10 year old cartographer who leaves his family behind to go on a cross-country adventure. The story, based on the best selling novel “The Selected works of T.S. Spivet” by Reif Larson is at it’s center about a boy struggling to earn the affection and approval of his distracted parents after family tragedy has left them distant and preoccupied . Helena Bonham Carter gives an excellent performance as Dr. Clair the entomologist mother and Callum Keith Rennie’s portrayal of T.S.’ stern, cowboy-souled father is strong as well. But, it is Catlett who does most of the heavy lifting, and for a star so young he does an amazing job.
Once he departs from the visually stunning world of his family’s farm, he hops on a train bound for Washington D.C. to accept a prize from the Smithsonian for inventing a “Perpetual motion machine”. On the road, he meets an array of slightly over the top characters including Jeunet favorite Dominique Pinon as Two Clouds. It is these scenes where the story and the magic find a lull, before the emotional ending which features a heart breaking speech by the young T.S..
All in all I loved this movie. Jeunet has made a career out of creating worlds and characters that make us the viewer feel like we are being allowed a pass into an oddly beautiful universe full of strange people and wondrous sights. With “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet” he turns in his best version of that universe since “Amelie”, and I cannot wait to see what he shows us next.