Captain Fantastic | Chicago Reader

Captain Fantastic

This odd duck by writer-director Matt Ross plays like a survivalist's remake of The Seven Little Foys (1955), that old Bob Hope movie about a widowed vaudevillian struggling to care for his brood of wacky, free-spirited children. Viggo Mortensen is the captain, a die-hard 60s radical in the Pacific Northwest who has moved his family into the wilderness and teaches his six kids to hunt and fish and read literary and philosophical classics; the mother has committed suicide, and her father (an icy, glowering Frank Langella) launches a legal battle to wrest custody of the children from their dreamy dad. The movie's liberalism sometimes verges on sanctimony (in one scene the youngest child, prompted by her father, gives her much older cousins a primer on the Bill of Rights), but Ross's political conviction also strengthens the story's spine: the ending, in which the kids symbolically affirm their independence, is so aggressively tasteless it seems to have burst straight out of an underground cartoon. With Missi Pyle, Kathryn Hahn, and Steve Zahn.

Credits

Director:

  • Matt Ross

Cast:

  • Viggo Mortensen
  • Frank Langella
  • George MacKay
  • Samantha Isler
  • Annalise Basso
  • Nicholas Hamilton
  • Shree Crooks
  • Charlie Shotwell
  • Ann Dowd
  • Erin Moriarty
  • Missi Pyle
  • Kathryn Hahn
  • Steve Zahn
  • Elijah Stevenson
  • Teddy Van Ee
  • Trin Miller

Producers:

  • Lynette Howell Taylor
  • Jamie Patricof
  • Shivani Rawat
  • Monica Levinson
  • Nimitt Mankad
  • Declan Baldwin

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