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Captain Fantastic

  • 2016
  • R
  • 118min
  • 83%
  • 7.9 / 10

Ben and Leslie Cash live off the grid in a small mountain cabin with their six kids. The couple strives to pass their survivalist ideals down to their children, including their disgust for all things Western society. As Leslie’s long struggle with bipolar disorder worsens, Ben is forced to send her to a nearby hospital for treatment. When Leslie commits suicide, her funeral arrangements brings the long-time battle between Ben and Leslie’s father back to the forefront. Leslie’s deeply Christian parents push a typical funeral and burial while Ben knows that Leslie’s wish was to be cremated based on Buddhist principles. Blaming Ben for Leslie’s death and believing that Ben’s parenting style is actually a form of child abuse, Leslie’s father stretches Ben to his limits. The kids also try to reconcile their lifestyle against their first taste of Western society.

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movie facts

The child actors were prevented, by contract, from eating sugar or junk food during filming. The alternate lifestyle of the Cash’s depicted in the movie was inspired by director Matt Ross’ real life upbringing in the Pacific Northwest. In both roles that Viggo Mortenson was nominated for an Academy Award, he has scenes with full frontal nudity. Mortenson wears a Jesse Jackson presidential campaign shirt from 1988 in the movie, a campaign for which Mortenson worked in real life.


about the movie

Captain Fantastic is a comedy-drama that was both written and directed by Matt Ross. It was released to mostly positive critical reviews in limited theaters in October 2016 and earned almost $6 million in the United States. Captain Fantastic has a large cast, starring Viggo Mortenson, George MacKay, and Samantha Isler, among others. Viggo Mortenson was nominated for various leading actor awards, including by the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild. The Screen Actors Guild also nominated the cast for best ensemble performance. Matt Ross was awarded various directing trophies, including the prize at the Cannes Film Festival.