Fatherhood at the Beating Heart

Refinery 29's review of CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Fatherhood at the Beating Heart

Shannon Rednour

In their review of CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, Refinery 29 says:

Captain Fantastic is full of lovely reminders about the pleasures of living simply. Thankfully, it's never heavy-handed with these lessons. The script is deeply nuanced and moving, and all the performances beautifully understated. The gorgeous cinematography is second only to the glorious scenery, all long desert shadows, crisp blue skies, and fading civil twilight.

Where this film shows us its heart, though, is when one of Ben's daughters is involved in a dangerous accident, and he begins to question if he's actually capable of keeping his kids safe from harm — and whether or not he has actually been harming them himself all these years. It's a heartbreaking realization, catalyzed by a near-tragic event that would terrify any parent on this earth. But what he ultimately discovers is that his flawed heart is enough: Even the best fathers sometimes lose their footing. Parenting is a persistent cycle of recovery. All you can do is your very best, and what you believe is right.

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