Captain Fantastic is Viggo Mortensen. He’s the father of a family of 6 children. They are living in the woods, hunting, training in the art of knife fighting, in a Bernie Sanders’ wet dream. They embark on a quest of fulfilling the last wish of the wife/mother who has passed away, and whose rich parents oppose cremation - and get hold of her body.
The film shows craft in designing a very lively family. The kids are all in different stages of their upbringing and emancipation, their moral compass points North towards the works of Noam Chomsky, they’re connected to nature and high idea(l)s but are untrained for society. Here come the conflicts.
Viggo carries the film all the way, he’s all (full frontal naked) in, and brings tremendous authenticity to a family that otherwise could have been perceived as a bit phoney.
The crisis is the moment when the film winks to its American roots - “the incineration of the mother” scene, although full of promise turns into a singalong dumb cheesy moment. And so the film tilts towards the tradition and conventions of the “psychotic family on the road” movie (see Little Miss Sunshine) with a moralising ending. It chips away from what could otherwise have been simple and great (unusable adjective as of lately).