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.REVIEWS
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 25)
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.
Nai: What does rape mean?
Ben: When a person, usually a man, forces another person, usually a woman, to have sexual intercourse.
Ben: Who’s hungry?
Kids: Me! Me!
Nai: What’s sexual intercourse?
Ben: When a man sticks his penis in a woman’s vagina… Everyone keep their eyes peeled for deer.
Nai: Why would a man stick his penis in a woman’s vagina?
Ben: Because it can give them both pleasure. And because the combination of a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg can create a baby and continue the human race.
Nai: But that’s where she pees.
Ben: Pee comes not from the vagina, but from the urethra, which is within the outer labia. But generally speaking, yes, that is where she pees… Everyone keep your eyes open for game of any kind.
[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.
Nai: Let’s dig. Otherwise she has to lie under that bullshit forever.
[as he prepares to cremate his wife]
Ben: My face is mine, my hands are mine, my mouth is mine, but I’m not. I’m yours.
Ben: Our children shall be philosopher kings, it makes me so indescribably happy.
[taking over the eulogy from the minister]
Ben: First of all, Leslie practiced Buddhism, which to her was a philosophy and not an organized religion. In fact, Leslie abhorred all organized religions. To her, they were the most dangerous fairy tales ever invented, designed to elicit blind obedience, and strike fear into the hearts of the innocent and the uninformed. To her, the only thing worse than death would have been the knowledge that her rotting flesh was to be trapped for all eternity inside a big box, and buried in the middle of a fucking golf course. Although the absurdity of being eulogized by someone that didn’t even know her has exactly the kind of comedic flourish that Leslie would have cherished. If nothing else, she had a sense of humor. I want to read something to all of you, so you’ll know what I mean.
[brings out a piece of paper]
Ben: Leslie’s last will and testament. And I quote, “in the event of my death, I, Leslie Abigail Cash, as a Buddhist, wish to be cremated. My funeral, such as it is, shall be a celebration of the life cycle, with music and dancing. After, it is my expressed desire that my ashes shall be taken to a nondescript location, preferably public and heavily populated. At which point my ashes, promptly and unceremoniously, are to be flushed down the nearest toilet.” End quote. Now that’s comedy.
Ben: When you have sex with a woman, be gentle and listen to her. Treat her with respect and dignity even if you don’t love her.
Bo: I know.
Ben: Always tell the truth. Always take the high road.
Bo: I know.
Ben: Live each day like it could be your last. Drink it in. Be adventurous, be bold, but savour it. It goes fast.
Bo: I know.
Ben: Don’t die.
Bo: I won’t.
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.
Ben: There’s no cavalry. No one will magically appear and save you in the end.
Bo: I just want to go to college.
Ben: You speak six languages. You have high math, theoretical physics! This is what I’m talking about! What the hell are these people going to teach you?
Bo: I know nothing! I know nothing! I am a freak because of you! You made us freaks! And mom knew that! She understood! Unless it comes out of a fucking book, I don’t know anything about anything!
Harper: Ben, you sound so ridiculous.
Ben: Is knowing how to set a broken bone or how to treat a severe burn ridiculous? Knowing how to navigate by the stars in total darkness, that’s ridiculous? How to identify edible plants, how to make clothes from animal skins, how to survive in the forest with nothing but a knife? That’s ridiculous to you?
Kielyr: We’re defined by our actions, not our words.
Total Quotes: 25