|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Index||33 reviews in total|
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.
This movie is obviously what one would call "labour of love". It's a
pleasure to watch. The story shows beautifully what a thousand articles
on math prodigies cannot- that even geniuses need love and that no
matter how "genius" that child is he is still only a kid.
She brings out the subtleties of her character. Fred seems adult-like in a child's world and yet deals with child-like simplicity in an adult's world. Jane is the headmistress of a school for the gifted, who believes that her theories on child-prodigies can bring out Fred's best talents, but forgets that Fred's best is not in his head but in his heart. Working to give her child the best yet fierce-fully protective of Fred is his mother Dede. This movie perfectly capture the heartbreaking events that can happen when a child is given too much attention but no affection. Hats off to Adam Byrd who gives a very nuanced performance. Both Jodie Foster and Nancy show the little personality clashes very well. Jodie foster has done a great job when she shows Dede's reaction and then later Jane's reaction to the fact that Fred has had a nightmare.I hope to be able to see more movies from her.
I've long been a fan of Jodie Foster's acting, and upon my first
viewing of "Little Man Tate", I can now say I'm a fan of her
directorial talents as well.
The story is of Fred Tate, son of single mother Dede. It's found that, at the age of 2, Fred can already read the print on the bottom of a dinner plate. Dede, and the rest of the world, realize that Fred is a genius, but Dede is determined that Fred, while given ever opportunity to expand his gift, is not exploited by the well meaning, but pretentious head mistress of a school for gifted children, Jane Grierson, portrayed by the outstanding actress Dianne Wiest.
The story's told, mainly, through the eyes of Fred; however, we also see the viewpoints of Dede & Jane who each feel that she alone has Fred's best interests at heart. We are given tremendous insight into how Fred sees and relates to the world around him. He has the understanding that's beyond most adults but only the emotional experience of his 7 years of life.
Through Fred, we can see that the academic world of gifted children isn't just filled with the nice, polite, precocious, bespectacled children that we are often shown on news magazines or public television programs. We are allowed to see that some are as outright rude and pretentious as the adults who claim to be only nurturing their gifts.
In her feature-film directorial debut, Foster is able to capture the world as Fred sees it. She's able still allow us to see Fred as the youngster he is. Fred's intellect isn't the basis of the story, just one element in it. She lets the story do the work, and she let's the character's tell the tale. She allows the characters to be real people not just the stereotypes that so often are found in films dealing with this subject matter.
Jodie Foster's only directed two films since this one ("Home For The Holidays"-1995 & "Flora Plum"-2005), and I've seen "Home For The Holidays" which I also feel was very well done. It seems that Ms. Foster is being very careful in picking her projects, much like the late Stanley Kubrick did. I only hope her unique talents are recognized and she's given more green lights for future projects.
A great directorial debut by Jodie Foster, not overly ambitious, but wholly effective. She plays a mother who wants her genius son to have an ordinary life, once his intelligence is discovered, yet in his "normal life," he's a total misfit. The way Foster brings these fragile little egos together is intriguing. The film is also a showcase for Wiest's quirky charms, she adds much humanity to a character who on the surface is unlikable, although it is Foster who gives the more subtle performance. (I disagree with one reviewer at the time who suggested they should have switched roles, it's more interesting seeing them each cast against type.) There are brief but nice supporting turns from Celia Weston and the late Danitra Vance. But it is Adam Hann-Byrd who makes the movie a total pleasure. If The Sixth Sense were made during this time (1991), he would have been the only choice for Haley Joel Osment's role. Never precocious, never going out of his way to pull at heartstrings, he could give several grown-up actors lessons in how to give a nuanced performance. A thoroughly enjoyable film.
I LOVE this movie!!! In fact, it is my favorite. I was a senior at the University of Cincinnati at the time it was filmed and my best friend is in two scenes. The college scenes were filmed primarily at the University of Cincinnati, in Cincinnati, Ohio at McMicken Hall and outside the campus. The scene with Harry Connick Jr. at his apartment is in a dilapidated apartment building on Ludlow Ave. The scenes of Odyssey of the Mind were filmed at the Wexner Center of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. During filming Jodie Foster kept a low profile, as she also directed. This story is truly timeless...gifted education is still in the formative stages today. The movie shows that a careful balance between the nurture of the parent and the wisdom of the educator can give children an environment to reach their potential in a healthy way. Jodie Foster is wonderful as the loving but uneducated mother and Harry Connick Jr. has his first screen role in a major motion picture!
Little Man Tate is a very good movie. Jodie Foster's debut as a filmmaker shows a little boy genius, who we've all seen before. The difference is the little boy is human, and not just a brain. He worries about people dying, envies the popular athletic boy, all the while plays music in competition form and forms math problems on his head. The conflict between Jodie Foster, the mother, and Dianne Wiest, the child genius grown up, is somewhat annoying, but it makes sense, as they are both extremes of parenting. The child in this movie plays it superbly, as does Foster and Wiest. Some points of this movie I was about to worry that the emotional music was coming and we'd see some sappy speech. Thankfully that never happened. What this movie is, is an emotional movie that doesn't have a bad guy or good guy to root or cheer for. Everyone here's prerogatives make sense, and it's up to you who you support, and what you think about Fred Tate, the little genius.
I was mainly interested in this film because of the subject - the
predicament of a child genius. Half way through it I was captivated, not so
much by the subject(in part because of the way it was handled), but by the
child genius himself. Adam Hann-Byrd is thoroughly captivating. Rendering a
sympathetic performance, he's almost bewitching! He even looks a lot like
Jodie Foster. And it's to her credit as a director for finding such a
perfect little actor to play such a complex role. Jodie Foster herself gives
a moving performance as a struggling mother who is suddenly made to feel
incapacitated, both financially and mentally, as the mother of a child
prodigy. Diane Wiest's choice of characters has always been interesting.
From 'Edward Scissorhands' to 'Birdcage', 'Practical magic' and still other
films, she's usually played characters who are slightly quirky, odd or
non-conformist, with a touch of humor in them. Over here she plays to
perfection the role of the demanding, independent mentor of Fred Tate with a
warped emotional intelligence.
One grouse though...as far Diane Wiest's character is concerned. I think her role is too much of an extreme as compared to Jodie Foster's. At the end of the film, Wiest's character, Jane Grierson ends up looking sheepish, repenting and even stupid to an extent. The end is almost sort of an ode to perfect motherhood, decrying the failure of the poor mentor spending tons of money by taking prodigies under her wing. It seems to say, child prodigies don't need all that specialized atmosphere, don't need special benefits, when in fact they do. I'm not saying that they ought to be living in state-of-the-art cages where they will only interact with other prodigies. But they do need a lot of other benefits that ordinary schools which underestimate the intelligence of even "normal" people just cannot provide. Child geniuses need to be dealt with very sensitively, keeping in mind their advanced faculties all the time and an atmosphere has to be created for them to properly nurture their special gifts. Somehow this film, by showing Jane Grierson as obviously insensitive, indirectly puts forth a bad case for special training for child geniuses. The real test of motherhood and Dede's feelings of jealousy towards Jane would have been explored if Jane, along with her maternal feelings for Fred would have also been shown to be sensitive or considerate. Instead we are made to laugh at Jane because she offers Fred some brown fruit/veggie juice and he asks for Coke... So that's it. This film is good, not for the content or it's resolution, but for the acting. Kudos to Adam Hann-Byrd!
Little Man Tate was one of my favorite movies as a child, I don't know
why, but maybe because my grandmother and I bonded over this movie,
it's just special to me. But I was a little disappointed to see a low
rating on IMDb, I think this is an absolute treasure of a film. Jodie
and Dianne are just such a terrific pair of actresses and are perfect
casting for the film. I know Jodie Foster was in charge of the film and
she did a terrific job. The boy who played Fred was so charming and fit
the role perfectly. The story is so touching and beautiful, not to
mention original since the story of gifted children isn't really
discussed that well.
Fred is a young boy who is extremely gifted, his intelligence is something very special. But his mom, DeeDee, doesn't really let him expand since she is a single mom wanting her son just to be normal. But Fred is discovered by Jane Grierson, a professor of highly intelligent and gifted children, giving Fred the chance to expand his world and even takes him to college at a young age. Fred meets interesting characters throughout his journey learning that maybe life has more to offer than what he used too.
Little Man Tate is a very good movie and very charming. I know some might find it a little boring, but honestly, you have got to give this movie a chance, it has great drama and some fun comedy along the way. David Hyde Pierce was such a fun addition to the cast, he really makes his screen presence enjoyable, so does Dianne. But the whole cast is just perfect and seemed to enjoy doing this movie together. I would highly recommend this movie, it's a good one to watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an excellent directorial debut by Jodie Foster. It's a deep film that tackles an unusual subject--the gifted child's place among his or her peers. There are many memorable scenes throughout the movie, and Foster's direction shows a true understanding of the film-making process. What I find interesting is that Foster has created a world that's devoid of any strong adult males. Fred's father, or any mention of him, is nonexistent in the film. David Hyde Pierce plays a character who has some sort of relationship with the Dianne Wiest character, but it's never defined. Although he seems to works with Weist, he has no interaction with her young geniuses, including Fred. The only other prominent male is played by Harry Connick Jr. His character, Eddie, is a feckless college student who almost kills Fred accidentally. Eddie then befriends Fred for a day, but later gives him the brush-off, initiating Fred's meltdown. Foster seems to be saying that Fred needs a male figure in his life, but it ain't gonna happen. I've read interviews with Foster in which she spoke about her anger toward and resentment of the father who abandoned her as a child. Since no one in this film even comes close to being a father figure, she's clearly sending a message here, whether consciously or unconsciously. My message to Ms. Foster is: We're not all that bad. There was no need to write us out of existence (she reads these comments, right?).
This work presents the challenges of raising a gifted child. It is
never a easy as it seems, raising a child who is more intellectual than
you are - a fact wrenchingly portrayed herein. The emotional needs of
these children often go unattended, as the parents usually struggle to
satisfy the intellectual needs.
Jodie Foster gives a fantastic performance as a mom under the aforementioned circumstances.
Many may consider the ending weak, if they are unable to demonstrate the ability to see beyond the story itself. If you can, then this work is well done and offers hope in the end.
I found it a bit better than mildly entertaining, but it's not something I will want to watch again.
It rates a 6.7/10 from...
the Fiend :.
|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Newsgroup reviews||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|