Vitus

"Good"

Vitus Review


Fredi M. Murer's Vitus may not be a fairy tale, as Murer himself is so quick to point out, but it certainly has the feel of childhood fantasy. Unlike most films about childhood told through the fantasy lens, Vitus orchestrates a fantasy based in realism that echoes child heroes as varied as Bastian Bux (The Neverending Story) and Oskar Matzerath (The Tin Drum).

As a young boy, Vitus comes naturally to the piano. The works of Liszt, Schumann and Ravel (amongst others) come easily to him, impressing his parents' dinner-party guests with one swift flutter of the ivory keys. His father (Urs Jucker) has a knack for technology and creates advanced hearing aids for a living. Vitus' mother (a stellar Julika Jenkins) has a job as well but quickly dismisses it to become her sons muse, manager and guide, much to the young boy's chagrin. It's when mother dismisses Vitus' babysitter and object of affection Isabel that he becomes unruly and begins to act out a bit.

Vitus (gifted Teo Gheorghiu) turns 12 and suddenly decides that he wants to try something else. However, as his grandfather (the great Bruno Ganz) points out, you sometimes have to be crafty. In accordance with his grandpa, Vitus hatches a scheme and soon becomes as normal and silly as any other 7th grader. That is, until he finds out that his family is in trouble and that Isabel (Tamara Scarpanelli), now 19, works at the local record shop. It is then that Vitus kicks back into action.

At first, Vitus has the same motivations as Oskar Matzerath. He sees the adults as people who saw one talent and didn't live the life around them, relegating themselves to one track. Matzerath threw himself down a flight of stairs to stop growing; Vitus jumps off his balcony to stop thinking. But where The Tin Drum had the grandiose visage of perversion and obscenity, Vitus has a subdued tone of enigma, a sort of goofy espionage sans a villain with a ridiculous haircut.

At best, Vitus seems a natural cure for the Spy Kids generation, a more heartfelt flight into a child's imagination and reasoning. As the quote that prefaces the film implies, the implications of the child's life depends on an adult's preconceived notions of what life is about. Vitus doesn't neglect or even dismiss his talent altogether, he just wants to understand the normalcy of every-day childhood before he is thrown into the hobgob of "genius" culture. Though ultimately inconsequential and partially overly melodramatic, Vitus still has an overwhelming charm and a sense of lo-fi dazzle that puts it heads-and-shoulders above garbage like Evan Almighty. Rather than go the easy route and say "all you need is your family," Murer rather politely suggests that maybe we actually need some well-spent time away from our parents.

Now let's see ya dance.



Vitus

Facts and Figures

Run time: 123 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 7th December 2006

Box Office USA: $28.1k

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Fredi M. Murer

Producer: Christian Davi, Christof Neracher, Fredi M. Murer

Starring: as Grandfather, Teo Gheorghiu as Vitus von Holzen - age 12, Fabrizio Borsani as Vitus - age 6, Julika Jenkins as Helen von Holzen, mother, Urs Jucker as Leo von Holzen, father

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.