Things to Watch - Captain Fantastic (My New Favorite Movie Ever)

Remember when I used to blog for Netflix and I wrote about movies all the time? Well that ended. And, honestly, it was hard to write about tv and movies once a month, I ran out of things to say. Because a lot of movies just aren't that great. Or maybe they are. Or maybe I'm too picky. I don't know. Really, the whole problem might be that I tend to fall asleep within the first 10 minutes (so who am I to judge?).

But anyways, a few weeks ago, a good friend saw a movie called "Captain Fantastic" and she told us she couldn't decide whether she hated it or loved it, but that she couldn't quite let it go. And, seriously, what better praise is there than indecision coupled with an inability to forget? Obviously, I needed to see it and judge for myself.

And, well, WOW! In summary, Captain Fantastic involves a dad of six kids who chooses to live off the grid (pretty far off the grid). And then circumstances cause them to go on a road trip, where the kids have to learn how to interact with strangers and eat meat they haven't killed themselves (one of my favorite lines from the movie is when the 6 or 7 year old asks his aunt "how did you kill those chickens? With an axe or a knife?" and she replies, "they’re, it’s a rotisserie chicken so you buy it on, it’s already dead.")

Basically I fell in love with this movie. And it made such an impact on me that I told Dan that the kids needed to watch it with us. And I'll never forget his response (by the way these are all soft quotes, because we were drinking and some of the details are fuzzy). "Don't you think it may be a little too much for them? It raises all these complicated questions. What is the role of a parent? Is it to raise your children to become part of society or to teach them your own belief structure? How much can kids really handle and how much is the role of parent to ease their burden? How much are we expected to love and how much to teach? What are we trying to prepare them for? How important is it to be part of a family and how important is it to figure out your own needs and break away?"

So we watched as a family (it is R by the way, so I'm not sure it's the right choice for all families). And my kids thought the dad was crazy. And he is crazy. But lovable too. And fallible and ridiculous. And maddening. And at times I hated him. Though, usually, I rooted for him.

Second favorite quote:

"Harper: Ben, you sound so ridiculous.
Ben: Is knowing how to set a broken bone or how to treat a severe burn ridiculous? Knowing how to navigate by the stars in total darkness, that's ridiculous? How to identify edible plants, how to make clothes from animal skins, how to survive in the forest with nothing but a knife? That's ridiculous to you?"

I don't know the answer to any of these questions. But the movie has me thinking about them. And a lot more.

Watch it.

And by the way, here's Dan's favorite quote "There's no cavalry. No one will magically appear and save you in the end." Which summarizes it all.

(By the way, Captain Fantastic is free right now on Amazon Prime).


  1. I TOTALLY want to see this ever since I saw a clip of it from the Oscars, and then I saw a bit from someone's blog where the dad is fighting with someone about homeschooling and his daughter shows up and gives the most thoughtful answer ever. Plus I adore Viggo!

  2. We saw the movie some weeks ago. I loved it. It raises all these questions about family, about modern society, about society in general, about love and parenting... Maybe that's why I loved it- that it makes you think.
    I also liked the end- that between the fully off the grid and the modern, technologically filled live- there's a middle way.
    Would be interesting to watch with the kids. Maybe our youngest is still a bit too young (not 5 yet)- but for the girls it could be interesting.



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