For me, the film felt somewhat nostalgic because of the landscapes and settings. There is an Uncle Sam billboard that anyone who has traveled between Portland and Seattle has noticed along the way. The rich landscapes of the Pacific Northwest are perfect for this film. There are a lot of people in these areas of the United States who hold similar values to Ben. Each of the characters are able to utilize their surroundings to the family's advantage, creating a paradise of their own. All of the child actors in this film stand on a similar pedestal to Mortensen in their performances. George MacKay (Defiance) definitely deserves a shout out for his performance as Bo, a young adult who has been unexposed to the world (and women). Nicholas Hamilton (Strangerland) is also superb as Rellian, an angsty teenager constantly looking to revolt against others. But really, all of the actors are well cast in their respective roles.
As an indie film, Captain Fantastic stands out as unique and thought-provoking. However, there are a few things in this film that feel less fresh due to preceding flicks. Captain Fantastic stands in a field of other films ranging from The Kings of Summer to Little Miss Sunshine. Even with these other films, Captain Fantastic still adds to the indie film scene with certain ideas that have not been explored much. Overall, I liked the film a lot but towards the end it starts to get a bit too heavy for my taste. It becomes a sort of sermon for uniqueness, preaching to the viewers. I would also like to add that there is a cover of a song towards the end that doesn't fit in as well as another choice might have, but it is still an interesting option.
The Bottom Line: Viggo Mortensen creates another spectacle of a character that viewers can learn from and admire.
Image credit: http://cdn3-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/2016/04/Captain1.jpg