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The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013)

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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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Mercer ...
Two Clouds / Deux Nuages
Mr. Stenpock
Mairtin O'Carrigan ...
Michel Perron
Harry Standjofski ...
Susan Glover


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, language and some reckless behavior | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

31 July 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El extraordinario viaje de T.S. Spivet  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$33,658 (USA) (31 July 2015)


$99,462 (USA) (28 August 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (HD)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kathy Bates was originally cast as Ms. Jibsen, but dropped out due to health concerns and was replaced by Judy Davis. See more »


Dousing a fire in an electrical appliance with water should trip the main circuit breaker, yet the lights in the kitchen stay on. See more »


Dr. Clair: Mediocrity is a fungus of the mind.
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Referenced in Le train où vont les choses (2014) See more »


The White Queen
Written by Ruth Barrett
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User Reviews

Unusual for Jeunet - but a wonderful film!
8 August 2014 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

Jeunet is, for once, operating outside his usual "comfort zone" and that's not a bad thing at all. While I have come to love him for his unique style, quirky colours, sharp textures and character actors caught by fisheye lenses, sometimes it pays to do something a little more restricted. As a comparison, Lynch's "Straight Story" comes to mind - a director known for decidedly non-mainstream sensibilities shoots a "simple" road movie. And since "The Straight Story" is my favourite Lynch film, that's no small praise! Of course, there's some of Jeunet's trademark whimsical, playful optics on screen, but they never become mere gimmicks but always enhance the storytelling. And some - or probably all - of the most impactful scenes are really simple shots - no gimmicks, no gags, just faces and landscapes. While Jeunet's last, "Micmacs", lost itself a bit among all the optical fireworks and gags, this film here keeps it straight and focused and I liked it only the better for it. Also, the pace is much slower than usual (again, very like "The Straight Story") - most scenes are longer than strictly necessary, giving them time to settle in.

The weakest point may be the actors - the children are not as good as those in "City of lost Children", and most of the grown-ups are a bit one-dimensional. The nice exception being Helena Bonham-Carter who delivers a really fine performance, nuanced like you wouldn't have thought she still had it in her after all the hammed-up roles from the last years.

Overall, probably my second-favourite Jeunet film (have seen it only once at the moment, maybe I'll have to rewrite it a bit after more viewings), highly recommended - and I really hope he does some more "mainstream" projects like this where his playfulness doesn't drown the story!

9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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