The film tells the story of a highly-gifted boy whose parents have demanding and ambitious plans for him - they want him to become a pianist. However, one day the boy, Vitus, is no longer willing to comply with his parents' plans and ambitions because he wants to follow his own star. Written by
VITUS is a film from Switzerland that has garnered many accolades and nearly won an Oscar. And yes, it is that good! Written by Fredi M. Murer, Peter Luisi, and Lukas B. Suter and directed by Murer, VITUS explores the life of a child genius, a lad who from the age of five is obviously gifted in that he can play Bach et al after only a few months lessons and is able to read books and understand concepts that make his stance in a regular kindergarten class untenable. But the film is less about the gifts of a child prodigy than it is a story of how a genius child longs for a normal childhood. It is in the telling of the story that the audience is privileged to discover the joys and trials in a child's view of being extraordinary.
Vitus - played at age 6 by Fabrizio Borsani and at age 12 by Teo Gheorghiu - is referred to as a little Mozart by his parents Helen (Julika Jenkins) and Leo (Urs Jucker), and by the family friends who are amazed at Vitus' gift as a pianist. But as is often the case with gifted children, they are overprotected, not allowed to engage in the normal activities of being a kid. Vitus finds consolation in his grandfather (a brilliant Bruno Ganz) whose creative energy includes Vitus in his longing to fly and to build complex machines. While Vitus continues his love for the piano he also takes risks with his beloved grandfather. Vitus' intelligence serves him well in analyzing the complexities of his father's job and his grandfather's role in that position, and it is his genius that leads the family in a direction no one thought possible. And of course with every story of an extraordinary young lad adapting to a puzzling world, there is also a love interest: Isabel at age 12 (Kristina Lykowa) is his fun-loving babysitter and at age 19 (Tamara Scarpellini) is the queen of his inexperienced heart and fill a void in Vitus' life that otherwise would be empty. Fitting all of these subplots together is made magical by Vitus' constant playing of classical music - a feat the young actor is capable of performing on his own! The cast of this film is not only gifted but is also endearing. Bruno Ganz is a brilliant actor and he is matched by both of the young actors who play Vitus. The story is tender but avoids bathos. It simply is an uplifting, inspiring, entertaining film. A Must See! Grady Harp
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