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The Childhood of a Leader

  • Drama
  • Arts
  • 2015
  • Brady Corbet
  • 115 mins
  • 12A

Summary

Ignored by his distant, disciplinarian parents, youngster Prescott develops into an ego-driven brat whose behaviour becomes increasingly unsettling. Psychological drama, starring Berenice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin and Tom Sweet.

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Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This challenging psychodrama, with a small but much-hyped role for Robert Pattinson, chronicles the childhood experiences of a future dictator. Beginning with a blast of ferocious orchestral music, it takes place at the end of the First World War, focusing on an affluent family who have recently moved to a large house just outside Paris. The father (Liam Cunningham) is always busy with his work as an aide to American president Woodrow Wilson - there to sign the Treaty of Versailles - leaving his German wife (Bérénice Bejo of The Artist) to discipline their seven-year-old son (Tom Sweet). As time passes, the boy becomes increasingly wilful and defiant, resulting in an ongoing power struggle between him and his parents. This is where the film is most effective, with Sweet providing a disquieting performance as the little sociopath at the centre of the story. Actor-turned-director Brady Corbet (who also co-wrote the script) sets a pace that may be too deliberate for some viewers, and there are times when you feel as though very little is happening, but this is a bold, uncompromising film that gradually takes a hold.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
MotherBérénice Bejo
FatherLiam Cunningham
CharlesRobert Pattinson
TeacherStacy Martin
MaidYolande Moreau
PrescottTom Sweet
LauraSophie Curtis
Mr Advisor's secretaryCaroline Boulton
EdithRebecca Dayan
The priestJacques Boudet

Crew

rolename
DirectorBrady Corbet

Details

Theatrical distributor
Metrodome
Released on
2016-08-19
Language
English
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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