The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet
This delightful surprise of a young person’s movie will probably more enchant the viewer for whom the good ol’ days of outdoor play and homemade science experiments rate higher than videogames and shopping malls.
T. S. Spivet is a deliciously clever 10 year old boy living on a picturesque ranch in Montana with his eccentric parents, pouty teenage sister and wild imagination. When T. S. is called to Washington DC to claim a science prize, he embarks on a road trip with nothing but a suitcase filled with memories, ambition and bottomless chutzpah.
Dressed in trademark red, gold and green, as is to be expected from Amelie’s Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the exquisitely designed movie evokes boys’ own adventure tales crossed with the quirky European sensibility of the French director’s previous works. Young Kyle Catlett (known to TV viewers of The Following) is terrific as the gutsy hero, with strong support from Helena Bonham-Carter as his detached mother. A sole unfortunate bum note rings in the performance of Judy Davis’ museum director, which turns into caricature towards the end amidst the delivery of some unnecessarily strong language.
Slightly dark in tone and gently rambling in pace, T. S’s adventures are punctuated by beautiful animations and moving revelations. This is a wholly different movie for the school holidays – take your young people for a trip down an idyllic memory lane.