Written and directed by Matt Ross, this is a gem of an Indie film that is definitely worth your while. Viggo Mortensen stars as a father of six kids raising them off the grid in the Northwest Washington forest.
Rejecting the establishment, Ben and his wife Leslie home school their kids as well as teach them survival techniques and give them rigorous exercise. When Leslie falls seriously ill, Ben is forced raise the kids alone and then later, confront the world he left behind and introduce the children into a society he had long ago rejected.
Mr. Mortensen is literally fantastic as Ben. His love and concern for each of his kids is so honest and pure, you believe every moment. The conflicts they encounter back in society are both humorous and heartbreaking. Each young actor has their moment to shine and they play off each other in very convincing ways.
The film co-stars Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Frank Langella, and Ann Dowd all in much smaller but important roles. It's really about Mr. Mortensen and the fine young actors that play his children.
This is an offbeat, original film that is filled with warmth and and a wild spirit. It's still playing in Manhattan at The Sunshine Cinema and hopefully in other art house theaters near you. If you miss it in a theater, find it on video or cable. You will be glad you did.