T.S. Spivet

"Excellent"

T.S. Spivet Review


As he did in Amelie, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet tells a simple fable with witty visuals, colourful characters and a warm heart. It's an utterly winning story of tenacity that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in their own family. Which is pretty much everyone. So even if it feels a bit light and goofy, it has a strong emotional kick.

On a sprawling Montana ranch, 10-year-old TS (Kyle Catlett) couldn't be much different from his twin brother Layton (Jakob Davis). While TS questions the laws of nature, Layton is a boyish cowboy like their dad (Callum Keith Rennie). And their teen sister Gracie (Niamh Wilson) and insect-obsessed mother (Helena Bonham Carter) are just as individualistic. So no one notices when TS enters his perpetual-motion machine into a competition and wins a top accolade from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. But the competition official (Judy Davis) hasn't a clue that TS is only 10, or that he has run away from home to hitchhike cross-country to accept his award.

Based on the Reif Larsen novel, the story has a whiff of the fantastical about it, only occasionally reflecting the real dangers the young and prodigious TS would face on his epic journey. But that's not the point: told through TS's limited perspective, this is a story about discovery. TS may think he's capable of anything a grown-up can do, but there are some very hard truths waiting both on the road and back home. And he's also about to learn that there might actually be some benefits to being a little boy.

Catlett is terrific on-screen, holding the film together with a bright-eyed, fiercely articulate performance. And he gets superb support from expert scene-stealers Bonham Carter and Davis. To accompany the bigger themes, Jeunet makes wonderfully inventive use of 3D, opening up TS's imagination visually while capturing the expansive scale of American geography and culture. Along the way, there are also jabs at intrusive media and paranoid law enforcement. But even if the film sometimes feels a little scattershot, its core emotional truth is powerfully moving.

Watch 'The Young And Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Trailer



T.S. Spivet

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 16th October 2013

Budget: $33M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Co.

Production compaines: Epithète Films, Cross Creek Pictures, Tapioca Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Frederic Brillion,

Starring: as T.S. Spivet, as Dr. Clair, as G.H. Jibsen, as Father, Niamh Wilson as Gracie, Jakob Davies as Layton, as Roy, as Giant Hobo, as Ricky, as Two Clouds, Dawn Ford as Marge, Lisa Bronwyn Moore as Judy, Richard Jutras as Mr. Stenpock, Richard Jutras as Lecturer, James Bradford as Smithsonian President

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