Wednesday, 27 August 2014

MIFF MOVIE REVIEW: THE YOUNG AND PRODIGIOUS T.S. SPIVET




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T.S. Spivet is a ten year old boy who lives at the farm in Texas with his parents, his twin brother and older sister. T.S. is  a young prodigy who is obsessed with science, but generally misunderstood by his parents and teachers. When he wins a prestigious award for creating a perpetual engine model, TS runs away from home to Washington to receive it and make a speech. But there's also something he is running away from. On an incredible journey of healing and adventure he meets different people who aid him in his quest, the true meaning of which is the reunion with the family that has stopped noticing he was there.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet is one of the few cinematographers whose unique vision is always recognisable from the first sight. Short scenes with quick witty comments, quirky static shots and optimistic look at the world is his signature card. He likes making movies with the first person narrative and TS Spivet is not an exception. The style of the film can be compared with the young years of Forest Gump if he was a prodigy. The idilic life of T.S. at the farm can reflect on many children's novels, such as Ann of Green Gables, but it is a painful secret lurking underneath that is a catalyst for all the events to come. As usual Jeunet is dealing with serious matters with a lighthearted tone, which makes T.S. SPIVET a family movie   - there is enough adventures and quirky humour to keep both kids and grown ups entertained.

The cast does a fantastic job, especially Helen Bonham Carter, in unlikely role of farmer's wife. Her character's obsession with insects does not stop her from being a housewife and a cook. Also Helen Bonham Carter has never looked so pretty in a film, reminding us that behind her usual quirky appearances in film she is a very much classic beauty.

Making film in 3D is a new thing for Jeunet, and his usage of technology proves that even a drama can benefit from it. Taking TS on a train journey the story gives an opportunity to explore some spectacular country side visuals. The original book, the selected works of T.S. Spivet, on which the film is based, is full of drawings and diagrams that highlight  the boy's attention to detail. In the movie they pop out from all sides of the screen and look great in 3D. All of the above is the reason why TS SPIVET won the 39th Cesar award for the best cinematography.

This latest work of Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a great combination of compelling storytelling and spectacular visuals that won't let you go all day after you finish the film. The girl who gave away 3D glasses mentioned that after you've seen the movie the rest of the day will seem black in white. She was right.

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