ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie review: The Young and Prodigious T.S Spivet

Updated on June 11, 2014

The term 'auteur' is one that is rarely used these days. Sure it's a little old fashioned, but the real reason for its absence is that there are very few around today.

If you're unsure to its meaning it was often used to describe (in the world of cinema at least) a director who managed to stamp his own visual signature on his work; a classic example being Alfred Hitchcock - if you were watching a Hitchcock film, you knew about it. The same can't be said for the director of Fast & Furious 6, Harry Potter 4 or Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

That's not to say that there aren't a few still knocking about today who have their own unmistakable style, including Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, and the director of this particular film Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

It's been five long years since his last inventive outing, the wonderfully surreal and silly Micmacs, and although his usual European sensibility has been replaced by Americana, there's no mistaking this for anything other than a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film.

Up in the vast wilds of Montana lives ten-year-old T.S Spivet (Kyle Catlett) on the family ranch. As the name may suggest, Spivet isn’t your average ten year old; he doesn't just have a love for science, he has an unusual understanding of it. After all, how many ten year olds can invent a perpetual motion machine? Well, Spivet did.

So impressed with his incredible talent, the Smithsonian museum have honoured him with the prestigious Baird prize. Unfortunately for Spivet, this acknowledgement of his abilities comes with two slight problems. The first is that the Smithsonian are completely unaware that Spivet is only ten. The second is that for Spivet to collect the award in person he would have to travel over 2,000 miles, which is a pretty big deal when you're only yay high.

Still, it sounds like too good an adventure to miss out on, so Spivet packs his small suitcase and leaves the family ranch behind with none of them any the wiser as to what he's up to exactly.

With originality sorely lacking for the most part in the film industry today, Jeunet's latest adventure in celluloid is a stunning reminder of what can be achieved in this medium.

Jeunet is an auteur with a unique vision; he's also an artist that uses the wide screen as a canvas; but most of all, and probably more importantly, he is one hell of a storyteller. Although the story of Spivet is a relatively simple one – a young genius wins a prize and decides to go and pick it up – it's all the extra details that Jeunet weaves into his story that makes it such a joy.

As you would expect from this creative force, the cinematography is outstanding throughout. It does come with a surprising element however: 3D. Up until now 3D has been a huge disappointment. Much of the time it has been tacked onto a film, just so they can bump the ticket prices up and make more money on it. The effect has been so lame in so many films that you could easily walk out at the end of a feature and forget that it was the 3D version you just sat through. Jeunet though, actually takes advantage of it.

Watching TS Spivet is a sumptuous visual experience. It often feels like sitting with a View-Master toy stereoscope strapped to your head with these striking 3D images flicking before your very eyes. If you have been mostly disappointed with 3D films, this one may well change your mind.

It's not all good new however. Although Catlett is likeable in the title role, there are times when it feels like the role is just slightly bigger than he is.

There's also an issue regarding steam; the film kind of runs out of it towards its conclusion.

This are minor niggles however, in what is not just a feast for the eyes, but a veritable visual smorgasbord. And as long as the likes of Jeunet are making films, there's hope for this industry we call film yet.

4 booms


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)