A ten-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family's ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country aboard a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.
In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.
T.S. Spivet lives on a ranch in Montana with his mother who is obsessed with the morphology of beetles, his father (a cowboy born a hundred years too late) and his 14 year-old sister who dreams of becoming Miss America. T.S. is a 10 year-old prodigy with a passion for cartography and scientific inventions. One day, he receives an unexpected call from the Smithsonian museum telling him that he is the winner of the very prestigious Baird prize for his discovery of the perpetual motion machine and that he is invited to a reception in his honor where he is expected to give a speech. Without telling anyone, he sets out on a freight train across the U.S.A. to reach Washington DC. There is also Layton, twin brother of T.S., who died in an accident involving a firearm in the family's barn, which no one ever speaks of. T.S. was with him, measuring the scale of the gunshots for an experiment, and he doesn't understand what happened. Written by
If you take out the quirky visuals, there is nothing much to see here!
I have never been much of a fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I find his films a bit too twee. At least with previous releases like Delicatessen and Amelie, they were interesting and fun, although never bowled over, but this film has very little to interest the viewer other than some nice visuals.
T.S Spivet (Kyle Catlett) is a young child prodigy who invents the perpetual motion engine. After a call from the Smithsonian museum claiming that he has won a major Baird prize, T.S leaves his humble ranch and journeys to New York to collect the prize. Over his journey, he ponders his eccentric family. His mother Dr Claire (Helena Bonham Carter) who studies insects is distant from her husband who is a cowboy. Also, he ponders the accidental death of his brother which he may or may not have been involved with and wonders if his dad cares about him.
When he arrives, he gets his prize and people start to exploit the fact he is a child. The artifice and manufactured emotions of television is explored not very well and the wonders of science and the potential of such a revolutionary invention is not really looked into. For a bright and quirky film, it really is dull and essentially nothing much happens. I think Jeunet spent too much time making the film look good. I read the writers said they could potentially have a hard time making Spivet's journey interesting as it does take up most of the film, but according to them, it turned out not to be the case. Oh how wrong they were!
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