Bleeker Street’s new film “Captain Fantastic” is not a comic book movie though it stars a superhero of a different sort. There’s no flying crusader in cape and tights, only a hippie father in a bright red suit.
Viggo Mortensen is Ben, an idealistic father raising six kids in rural Washington. They live way off the grid, adhering to a tough-minded, physically demanding existence that is anti-establishment in a tree-hugging sort of way.
Inevitably circumstances arise that force the family to leave their idyllic home and travel, in their bus named Steve, to attend a funeral. Interactions with relatives, who are essentially strangers, and the trappings of city life, like restaurant food and video games, have the children dazed and confused while Ben begins to question his role as a parent.
The children are curious, expressive, and living up to their untraditional names – Zaja (Shree Crooks), Kielyr (Samantha Isler), Rellian (Nicholas Hamilton), Vespyr (Annalise Basso), Bo (Goerge MacKay) and Nai (Charlie Shotwell).
Frank Langella plays the maternal grandfather and the nemesis to Ben and his family’s way of life. His challenge for custody of the children sets off a battle for control over parental values and choices.
“Captain Fantastic” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival last January. It screens next during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in May before its scheduled theatrical release on July 8. See you at the movies.