The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet is the latest film from Jean-Pierre Jeunet. It’s about a ten year old boy (T.S.) who lives on a ranch in Montana, but doesn’t fit in his family with his predilections for all things science. He manages to design a perpetual motion machine and the Smithsonian wants to give him an award. He makes the lone trek from Montana to Washington D.C.
The film is written by Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant (who wrote the book The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen). It stars Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Callum Keith Rennie and Kyle Catlett.
The good; the film looks amazing. The first act is filled with gorgeous landscapes and vibrant colors, it was a rare treat to see wonderful wide shots that held long enough for us to take in the scenery. That alone is worth seeing this film on the big screen.
Kyle Catlett has to be pointed out. Such talent from this young actor. Catlett carries this film, that’s not an easy feat for such a young actor. As T.S. makes his way cross country you feel the hardship and the lengths that a 10 year old has to go through to get by, bravo for doing an excellent job.
In a different way this film is almost the flip side of the coin to Boyhood.
The bad; the third act needed to be stronger. The first two acts were amazing that things seemed to almost crawl to an unusual halt when the third act rolls around. That coupled with the “reveal” seemed unfittingly sad.
Granted that this film was adapted from a book, but change some stuff to make it flow cinematic-ally, you don’t have to be super faithful to the source material if it doesn’t work for the big screen. You just have to take a look at Inherent Vice to see where that goes wrong.
Overall, so glad I was able to catch The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet in the theatres. It’s truly a visual masterpiece, if you have a chance to see this film in the theatres you should. Looking forward to more from young mister Catlett.