Switzerland | 123 MINUTES | Swiss-German |
A child prodigy yearns for a “normal” life with his parents and eccentric grandfather in this charming family drama starring Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire, Downfall). Both hyper-intelligent and overly hyper, the precocious 12-year-old pianist Vitus would rather learn to fly than compete for money and fame, but his parents have bigger, rather more cumbersome ideas. With his childhood a rapidly escalating barrage of commands to perform and present, it's no wonder that, when asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he responds: “Someone else.” Too smart to be a child, but still treated like one by adults, Vitus is miserable in both worlds, with only his compassionate grandfather (Ganz) treating him as a person. Things start to change, however, when the young protégé decides he's had enough of being the boy his parents want him to be, and starts living his own life. Winner of the 2007 Swiss Film Prize and the Swiss entry for Best Foreign Film Oscar®, Vitus is part fable and part subtle critique of the burdens that a family can place on its most talented member. Real-life pianist Teo Gheorghiu gives a personable, insightful performance as Vitus, following the fine example given by Ganz. Veteran director Fredi M. Murer (Alpine Fire) lends a keen eye for the details around the story, with subtle framing, compositions and echoing motifs that mirror the musical elements of the film. Like a perfectly played sonata, Vitus hits the perfect notes at the perfect pace.