The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet

  • 12
  • Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2013)
  • Fr / Can
  • 100 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Based on the bestselling book by Reif Larsen, this whimsical adventure is a feast for the eyes but only a light snack for the soul. Pint-sized hero TS Spivet is endearingly played by Kyle Catlett, who could so easily have tipped into annoyingly precocious. TS has still to reach puberty and yet he's just invented a perpetual motion machine, leading him to be invited to accept an award at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC - a world away from his Montana home. As he sets out alone, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet goes off on a wild tangent (the novel sees TS celebrated for his map-making skills). But the real point of the journey - which takes the youngster across the heartland of America - is to come to terms with the death of his brother (Jakob Davies). He feels responsible, but surprisingly, the director who made Amélie doesn't handle the emotional heft of the story half as well as he illustrates TS's eccentric coping mechanisms. Flights of imagination are vividly drawn (and even more breathtaking in 3D), helping to roll over the bumpier parts, while Helena Bonham Carter adds a touch of gravitas as the boy's mum. This is a flawed but inventive look at the world from a unique perspective.

Plot Summary

A 10-year-old inventor living on a remote ranch receives a message that he has been given a prestigious award by a scientific body unaware of his age. Troubled by his involvement in his brother's accidental death, the boy runs away from home and hitch-hikes across America to attend the presentation ceremony. Family adventure based on Reif Larsen's novel, starring Kyle Catlett and Helena Bonham Carter.

Cast and crew


Dr Clair
Helena Bonham Carter
TS Spivet
Kyle Catlett
Judy Davis
Callum Keith Rennie
Niamh Wilson
Jakob Davies
Rick Mercer
Two Clouds
Dominique Pinon


Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Entertainment One
Some swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 13 Jun 2014
Certificate 12
Entertainment One