The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivot

TSS Day 20 "The young and Prodigious Spivet" Photo: Jan Thijs

DIR: Jean-Pierre Jeunet • WRI: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Reif Larsen, Guillaume Laurant • PRO: Frédéric Brillion, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Gilles Legrand, Suzanne Girard, Brian Oliver • ED: Hervé Schneid • DOP: Thomas Hardmeier • CAST: Kyle Catlett, Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Callum Keith Rennie, Niamh Wilson, Jakob Davies

The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivot is a sublime and tantalizing feast for any dedicated cinephile. It marks the return of Jean Pierre Jeunet into the cultural Zeitgeist after the mish mash that was his last film, the poorly reviewed Mic Macs. Adapted by Jeunet from the book by  Reif Larsen The Selected Works of TS Spivet, the film is essentially a coming-of-age story about young wunderkind T.S Spivot candily portrayed by  Kyle Catlett.

T.S Spivott, child genius, prodigy lives Montana with his loving but oblivious parents. Things take an interesting turn when Spivot seemingly creates a perpetual motion machine and runs away to Washington to receive a Smithsonian award. Overall the film  doesnt pack the same energetic punch as Delicatession or Amelie. This is a much more wistful and sombre film, an exploration of mise en scene and of the nature of illusion.

Jeunet’s imagery captivates the randomness and colour of Spivot’s imagination in saturated colours and blown-out images. This is a carefully constructed film, the product of a master craftsman.  Helana Bonham Carter and Judy Davis have notable performances. Spivott certainly marks a return to form for Jeunet though perhaps too sombre a return to make any noticeable impact.

Michael Lee


105 mins

The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivot is released on 13th June 2014

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