Director Jean Pierre Jeunet, who gave us the visually stunning movies Delicatessen, The City Of Lost Children and Amelie, delivers another feast for the eyes with TS Spivet, a quirky, delightful adventure based on the book The Selected Works Of TS Spivet, with an adorable lead actor (Catlett, best known for his role in the first season of TV thriller The Following).
Ten year old TS lives with his family at a remote ranch in Montana. His dad (Rennie) is a cowboy from a bygone age, his mother (Carter) is distracted from family life by her quest to discover a new breed of beetle and his older sister dreams of becoming a beauty queen. So none of them really realise what a boy genius they have in their midst as prodigy TS invents scientific marvels and scribbles intricate works of cartography, nor do they notice he has left home with his suitcase to travel to the Smithsonian institute in Washington, who are presenting TS with an award for his discovery of the perpetual motion machine.
As whimsical as Jeunet’s previous movies, this peppers TS’s journey with 3D images of his drawings, daydreams and inventions as he hops a freight train to travel across country and meets various characters along the way (including regular Jeunet actor Dominique Pinon as a wise hobo). While Jeunet fans may moan that this lacks the satire of his previous films, in doing so it makes it more accessible to younger viewers (nine and over) who will certainly never have seen anything quite like this before, and will be charmed by TS Spivet’s oddball adventure.
Is T. S Spivet suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger viewers may be upset by parts of TS’s story, especially the scenes involving his brother and may be worried about him travelling alone, so this is best enjoyed by viewers aged 9 and over.