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Little Man Tate (1991)

PG | | Drama | 1 November 1991 (USA)
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1:44 | Trailer

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Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alex Lee ...
...
...
Matt Montini
Nathan Lee ...
Matt's Teammate
...
Miss Nimvel
Danitra Vance ...
Clinic Doctor
...
...
Garth (as David Pierce)
...
Gina
Richard Fredette ...
Bartender
...
Winston F. Buckner
Jennifer Trier ...
Grierson Institute Teacher
...
John Bell ...
Joey X
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Storyline

Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that he is not taken advantage of by people who forget that his extremely powerful intellect is harboured in the body and emotions of a child. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not what he knows. It's what he understands.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mentes que brillan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$25,010,896 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most school scenes were filmed at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house served as the home/office of Jane Grierson (Dianne Wiest). See more »

Goofs

The clocks in Jane's house and in the billiard room when Fred is out late with Eddie. The microwave shows 6:24 (at around 45 mins), but the clock behind Garth shows 10:13 (at around 47 mins) just before a cut to the pool hall clock showing 6:26 (at around 56 mins). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Fred Tate: It's funny, cause I *think* I can even remember being born. For the first two weeks of my life I didn't even have a name. Dede couldn't make up her mind. She finally decided on Fred. She said that she had never heard of a little kid named Fred before.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 70th Golden Globe Awards (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Mozart's String Quartet No 21, D Major, KV575
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Alban Berg Quartett
Courtesy of Teldec Classics International GmbH
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Engaging insight into the world of exceptionally gifted children
6 May 2006 | by (Dundee, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Through the eyes of a exceptionally gifted child of seven, 'Little Man Tate' delivers a riveting insight of the loneliness, maturity, isolation and brilliance of what it is to be highly prodigious yet very young and how imperative it is to achieve a balance when educating and raising such children.

Fred (Adam Hann-Byrd) is a very special little boy. He is able to play complicated musical pieces, pen deep and meaningful poems, calculate complex mathematical problems at an age when his classmates are still learning to tie their shoes and mastering their alphabet. He's a child old before his time, capable of thoughts far beyond the average adult's understanding, but at the core of it all, he is still just a seven-year-old who wants to fit in at school and have friends. His mother Dede, played by Jodie Foster, determines the best way to raise her beloved son is to treat him like any other child to the extent that she never really acknowledges his gifts, whereas Jane Grierson (Dianne Wiest) is on the other end of the scale as a psychologist whose speciality is gifted children. Jane takes an interest in Fred, believing his intelligence must be nurtured even if it means plonking a tot of seven into a university full of young adults.

Jodie Foster and Dianne Wiest deliver strong, solid performances as two women who both love this child and just want what is best for him, even if their approaches are very different. However, it is Adam Hann-Byrd who steals the show as the lead character of Fred. He depicts the brilliance of the character as well as his awkwardness in dealing with both 'normal' contemporaries and fellow gifted children. He is wonderful in showing how Fred is just a kid who wants to be liked, and how he desperately needs the adults around him to provide him a balance between being treated like the seven-year-old he is while allowing his towering intellect to thrive.

This film takes us into the heart of what it is to be a child prodigy and how it can be both a gift and a curse. We see Fred surpassing his adult classmates in his university course yet he struggles to interact with peers his own age who are of average intelligence. Through him, it is easy to see that being perceived as 'normal' can be the greatest gift of all. It also highlights the abysmal state of the state education system in teaching such children.

I really recommend this film as it delivers this fascinating story in a manner that is bittersweet, touching and, at times, humorous. The characters are all interesting and likable and you can't help but feel for Fred's joys and woes.


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Terrible Yoda101382
Adam Hann-Byrd was ugly in this film kedem524
What is the point? thirsch-2
Fred's nickname for his mother TheLastUnicorn
The music he plays in the piano on the interview whith Jane Grierson??? vovosafalda
Song eddy is playing Gunfighter2009
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