Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Ann Dowd, Erin Moriarty, Missi Pyle
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Story: Dramedy written and directed by Matt Ross and the story centers on a devoted father, Ben (Viggo Mortensen), who has dedicated his life to transforming his six young children into extraordinary adults with a rigorous physical and intellectual education deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, isolated from society.
When a tragedy strikes the family, they are forced to leave this self-created paradise and begin a journey into the outside world that challenges Ben’s idea of what it means to be a parent and brings into question everything he’s taught them.
Verdict: This is an emotionally driven, thought-provoking and surprisingly witty and quirky movie with Viggo Mortensen giving a captivating and subtle performance. What let’s the movie down slightly is the last act of the story which feels a little too unrealistic, overall though it’s good-hearted story with some touching and funny moments.
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 17)
Ben: What we’ve created here maybe unique in all of human existence. We’ve created a paradise.
Leslie: What we’re doing out here is so incredible. The kids are amazing.
Zaja: I miss mom.
Ben: Mom needs to be in the hospital right now.
Leslie’s Father: This is your fault.
Ben: Leslie had a disease.
Leslie’s Father: Wherever you are, stay there. You show up, I will have you arrested.
[to the kids]
Ben: We can’t go to mommy’s funeral. We have to do what we’re told.
Zaja: We want to see mom! Grandpa can’t oppress us.
[as he drives the kids into the city]
Ben: Right now this is your first real test. Remember your training.
[as they are sat in a diner looking at their menu]
Bodevan: They have hot dogs!
Zaja: What’s Cola?
Ben: Poison water.
Harper: Well, it’s so happy our family is together.
[referring to the cooked chickens]
Harper: It’s all local, it’s organic.
Zaja: How did you kill those chickens? With an axe or a knife?
Harper: They’re, it’s a rotisserie chicken so you buy it on, it’s already dead.
Dave: [to Harper] The kids need structure, they need to go to a real school.
[after she catches Bodevan and Ellen’s daughter making out]
Ellen: I sincerely hope you haven’t been doing what I think you’ve been doing.
Bodevan: Your daughter has taught me many things just now.
[he kneels down in front of Ellen’s daughter and takes her hand]
Bodevan: Will you be my wife?
Bodevan: [to Ben] Unless it comes out of a book I don’t know anything!
Leslie’s Father: Even if they make it through whatever it is you’re doing to them, they’re going to be totally unprepared for the real world.
Ben: And I happen to think the opposite is true.
Leslie’s Father: It’s child abuse.
[after Leslie’s father shoots and arrow and nearly hits Ben on purpose]
Ben: That almost hit me!
Leslie’s Father: If I wanted to hit you I would have hit you.
Leslie’s Father: [to Ben] Abbey and I have decided that we’re going to file for custody of the children.
Kielyr: Will they take us away from you?
Ben: That’s a possibility.
Ben: Our children shall be philosopher kings, it makes me so indescribably happy.
Rellian: “If you assume that there is no hope, then you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.”
Ben: Noam Chomsky.
Total Quotes: 17