This chilling fable about the rise of fascism in the 20th Century tells the story of a young American boy living in France in 1918 whose father is working for the US government on the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. What he witnesses helps to mould his beliefs - and we witness the birth of a terrifying ego. Loosely inspired by the early childhood experiences of many of the great dictators of the 20th Century and infused with the same sense of dread as The Others and The Omen, The Childhood of a Leader is an ominous portrait of emerging evil.Written by
Prescott's mother writes the French address on an envelope with a modern five-digit postcode. But France has had postcodes only since 1964, and the current five-digit ones only since 1972. See more »
The tragedy is not only that Pontius Pilate betrayed his self but that hundreds in the crowd before him did betray their selves. And that's what I wrote was the tragedy of war. Not that one man has the courage to be evil but that so many have not the courage to be good.
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The story revolves around a wealthy American (or citizens of the world, as The Mother calls them) family at the end of WW1 in France. The movie centers on the kid, Prescott. He's not a "normal" kid, I guess. He's been acting up ever since they moved to another town. He takes French lessons from the teacher, Ada (played excellently by Stacy Martin), which The Father disapproves of, because he can't speak the language himself and he feels The Father works for the American government, right under President Jimmy Carter, so he goes on a lost of work trips, and he doesn't really care about getting to know the people of the town as much as The Mother does.
At the beginning of the film the kid got caught throwing rocks at the church members ("A Sign of Thing to Come) and the movie just goes from there. The film is divided in chapter in a really cool way (First Tantrum, Second Tantrum etc.). The whole film is stylized really old school, e.g there's an overture at the beginning and etc. That brings me to the score, oh my god. The score is amazing, it's very unsettling. Quite possibly the best score I've heard this year, Knight of Cups is the only competition.
All of the performances are fantastic, especially Tom Sweet as Prescott, Bèrènice Bejo as The Mother and Stacy Martin as Ada, or The Teacher. Robert Pattinson is great too as a friend of the family and widower Charles, in the few scenes he shows up in.
I can't believe this is Brady Corbet's directorial debut, because the film is directed so well. I knew he's a great actor (Funny Games U.S.), I had no idea he could direct. I cannot wait for his next project because this is one of the better directed films I've seen in a while. Everything felt unsettlingly natural and real, the cinematography was fantastic and all the actors were great, even the kid. Or especially the kid.
Oh yeah, by the way, this is not a horror movie, it has some horror-ish and surreal (although it never goes full Eraserhead or Enemy) elements and it's very unsettling but it's not a horror movie. I think the horror-ish stuff lies in the things we don't see, or the things to come.
Oh, and no spoiler but the ending was so amazing, holy crap.
This is the third, possibly second, best movie I've seen so far this year and I'm hoping for Oscar buzz for this film at the end of the year, but it's not likely that will happen though.
9/10. It's excellent.
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