*Academy Award nominee – Best Actor
Viggo Mortensen shines as Ben, a rugged idealist living off-grid with his six children in a pristine Pacific Northwest forest, far from the technological temptations and concrete jungles of contemporary society. When his wife passes away, Ben’s beliefs are challenged as the family ventures into the world outside their home to attend her funeral.
Bright, self-fulfilled young adults, Ben’s children ignore Christmas but celebrate “Noam Chomsky Day,” read everything from quantum theory to Lolita, and spend nights by the campfire making music with guitars and harmonicas. When their mother dies, their grandfather (Frank Langella) plans a controversial funeral that Ben and the children believe goes against everything she stood for. Piling into an old school bus crammed with books, the family heads out to disrupt the planned funeral in New Mexico. Once there, the children amaze their more conventionally minded aunt and uncle (Kathryn Hahn and Steve Zahn), whose sons are all but glued to their iPhones. Ben’s kids know nothing of Lady Gaga or “Star Trek” and are sheltered in their own way, not always knowing how to interact with others. As they engage with the world outside their home, it becomes unclear whether or not they could adjust if they ever decided to leave their bohemian, anticapitalist life. An experience that feels as luminous and enriching as every inch of its widescreen frame, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC moves with subtlety and gets under the skin.
(USA / 2016 / Directed by Matt Ross)
R / 118 mins.