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The Childhood Of A Leader DVD Review

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“The Childhood Of A Leader” is an anti-climactic film.

In “The Childhood Of A Leader,” the semi historical film revolves around the troubled young son (Prescott) of an American diplomat and his wife who are living in France amidst WWI. We see Prescott’s psychosis slowly emerge as he hurts people emotionally and physically, throws tantrums, disobeys his parents and so on. Of course, all of this leads up to what the title suggests- his development into a political leader.

While the plot sounds interesting on paper, the arty “The Childhood Of A Leader” is a very vague film about politics, religion, symbolism, and family. For the majority of the runtime, it feels as if the viewer is being led to something major in the final act. Unfortunately, that major something never happens. The film is largely just a chronicle of a bad child who becomes a leader. We don’t get to see the transition from child to adult or how he came to power. Had the film dug deeper into the character and shown us that emergence into an adult it might have been more effective. As is, the meandering movie just feels incomplete.

Performance wise there is much to admire here. Tom Sweet makes quite an impression as the psycho child Prescott. He really does have to carry the film here and he does it well.  Bérénice Bejo and Liam Cunningham (who play Prescott’s parents) may not have as much to do as one might expect, but their screentime is certainly not put to waste. As for Robert Pattinson, he is strangely barely in this movie. Even stranger, he plays two roles for some unknown reason. His talent is frustratingly not put to good use here in a couple of bit scenes.

Last, but not least I must touch upon the odd, but compelling score by Scott Walker. To be honest, it sounds like it’s from a horror film franchise although it is strangely fitting here to some degree.


Presentation: 1.66:1. How does it look? The DVD boasts a very sharp standard def transfer.

Audio Track: English/French Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? A solid track in which the score really stands out.

The only extras include IFC Films trailers and a trailer for “The Childhood Of A Leader.”


January 3, 2017 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

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