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You know an indie family drama when you see one. Between the quirky characters and the trademark mix of comedy and drama, the genre has become so worn out that it seems like there’s no longer room for any kind of surprises. Luckily, Matt Ross’ vibrant and strange “Captain Fantastic” is here to restore your faith in the genre. Part “Little Miss Sunshine,” part “Swiss Family Robinson,” this award-winning indie checks off the boxes while making every cliche feel excitingly new. Part of that is because of Viggo Mortensen, whose magical performance reminds you why he’s one of the best actors in the game. If only he’d take on more roles.
READ MORE: ‘Captain Fantastic’ Review: Viggo Mortensen Turns a Hokey Premise Into Something Magical
Set in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, “Captain Fantastic” centers around a father (Mortensen) and his six young children, who he raises with expert survival skills. But when a tragedy strikes the family, the group is forced to leave their isolated home and assimilate into the outside world. Here, everything the children have learned gets called into question, and the father must come to terms with the choices he’s made.
In his B+ review out of the Cannes Film Festival, IndieWire Chief Film Critic Eric Kohn raved, “‘Captain Fantastic’ is astonishingly better than its premise makes it sound. This is a feel-good road trip and family dramedy movie crowned by Sundance that actually makes the formula feel fresh.”
Matt Ross won best director in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year, and the film just took the People’s Choice Awards at the Rome Film Festival. If this isn’t enough to convince you to give the movie a try on VOD this week, let Eric Kohn persuade you in the video below:
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