THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER (2015)

COAL TallLoosely based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s short story by the same name, The Childhood of a Leader, adapted by director Brady Corbet and his co-writer Mona Fastvold, tells the chilling tale of a young boy’s unnerving childhood, which includes a distant mother, and an absent, brutish father.

But instead of Sartre’s story, which follows Lucien in early childhood through young adolescence, we view the rise of Fascism through young Prescott. (LMB: 4/5)

Review by FF2 Associate Lindsy M. Bissonnette

A dissonant and ominous overture abruptly begins. Everyone in the theatre jumps as Bernard Herrmann-ian music (composed by Scott Walker) blares, and we all know how Hitchcock’s films ended, don’t we? Are the hairs on the back of your neck prickling yet? They will.

As the music wails, early 20th century images play and the story begins with the “The First Tantrum: a sign of things to come.” We meet “Prescott” (Tom Sweet) who is rehearsing for a nativity play at his church, and struggling with his French. After the rehearsal he begins throwing rocks at parents, he turns to run when he is caught, but heads straight into a tree (he’s only a boy after all). His “Mother” (Bérénice Bejo) brings him home, scolds him and sends him to bed after forcing him to say his nightly prayers, which he reluctantly does “in his head.”

“Second Tantrum: a new year” starts the next segment where we see Prescott actCOAL Squareing inappropriately with Adelaide his “Teacher” (Stacy Martin). We get the sense that Prescott is lacking a male role model, since his “Father” (Liam Cunningham) has been traveling for business. Turns out Father is busy working behind President Wilson’s back.

Later, one of Father’s coworkers mistakes Prescott for a girl during an important yet unofficial meeting at the house (the beginning of the Treaty of Versailles). Prescott taunts his father in return by refusing to wear clothes or eat, and locks himself in his room. Furious and embarrassed, “Father” breaks down the bedroom door and disciplines his son, breaking his arm.

Tensions rise in the household as we learn of the distant and aggressive relationship between Mother and Father, which negatively impacts the development of little Prescott. His inability to properly process his own emotions results in his stunted social abilities, reclusive tendencies and destructive behavior. We see sequences of dramatic images, which further disturb and distort what Prescott believes to be right and wrong as he pushes boundaries of tolerance in his own household.

There are two more segments of the film, and that’s where things really start to get… messy. But you’ll have to go check this film out for yourself, and it is definitely worth the watch. Young Tom Sweet is terrifying and devastating as the product of an unforgiving household, and Scott Walker does a brilliant job of creating a soundtrack that is both disturbing and also extremely catchy (remember that Jaws theme song? Get ready.)

Haunting and ominous, The Childhood of a Leader will keep your gut twisted, as you watch the creation of a monster.

© Lindsy M. Bissonnette FF2 Media (7/25/16)COAL wide

Top Photo: The Childhood of a Leader poster.

Middle Photo: Prescott looking at himself in the mirror in his parent’s bedroom.

Bottom Photo: The family sits down to a meal in their home in France.

Photo Credits: Agatha A. Nitecka

Q: Does The Childhood of a Leader pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test?GreenA2016

Yes, ma’am!

“Mother” runs this household with an iron hand and has several devastating scenes with the women who work for her (specifically a housekeeper, a maid, and a tutor).  At one point, the housekeeper–who has been on staff at the residence for over a decade–utters a curse so sharp that it almost draws blood.

95 comments

  1. Really no matter if someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other viewers that they will assist, so here it occurs.

  2. Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near
    future but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs
    and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  3. Your style is really unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this web site.

  4. Usually I do not learn post on blogs, however I would like to say that
    this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do so!
    Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article.

  5. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital
    to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement
    you access consistently rapidly.

  6. What i do not understood is if truth be told how you
    are no longer actually a lot more smartly-preferred than you might be right now.
    You are so intelligent. You know thus significantly on the subject of
    this matter, made me for my part imagine it from numerous numerous angles.
    Its like women and men aren’t interested until it’s one thing
    to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs great.
    All the time take care of it up!

  7. Great article! That is the type of information that are meant to be shared around the net.
    Shame on Google for no longer positioning this publish higher!

    Come on over and talk over with my web site . Thanks =)

  8. whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your posts.

    Stay up the great work! You understand, lots of people are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  9. My partner and I absolutely love your blog
    and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for.
    Does one offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write with regards to here.
    Again, awesome site!

  10. Right now it appears like Expression Engine is the
    preferred blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  11. hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up something new from
    right here. I did however expertise several
    technical points using this site, since I experienced to reload
    the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly.

    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining,
    but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement
    in google and can damage your high quality score if ads
    and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to
    my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective intriguing content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  12. hey there and thank you for your information – I
    have definitely picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise several technical points
    using this web site, as I experienced to reload the web site lots of times previous to I could
    get it to load properly. I had been wondering if
    your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will very
    frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.
    Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for
    a lot more of your respective interesting content.

    Ensure that you update this again soon.

  13. Thank you for every other informative blog. The place else
    may just I get that kind of info written in such a perfect means?

    I have a venture that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such info.

  14. First off I would like to say fantastic blog!

    I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to
    writing. I have had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.

    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any suggestions or tips? Thank you!

  15. Hola! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and finally got the courage
    to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic job!

  16. Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me
    of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this.
    I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he
    will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  17. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my
    own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost
    a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure.

    Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  18. Hello there! This post could not be written much better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I will send this post to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read.

    I appreciate you for sharing!

  19. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else getting
    identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution will you
    kindly respond? Thanx!!

  20. My developer is trying to persuade me to move
    to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am worried about switching
    to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  21. Great blog here! Also your web site loads up fast!

    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your
    host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  22. hello there and thank you for your information – I have
    definitely picked up anything new from right here. I
    did however expertise some technical issues using this
    website, since I experienced to reload the web site a lot
    of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google
    and can damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much
    more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again very soon.

  23. Your style is really unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you have the
    opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this page.

  24. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read
    more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll definitely return.

  25. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  26. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that
    you should publish more about this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but typically folks don’t talk about such
    issues. To the next! Best wishes!!

  27. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off
    the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format
    issue or something to do with browser compatibility
    but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though!

    Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Thanks

  28. We’re a bunch of volunteers and starting a new
    scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole group might be thankful
    to you.

  29. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice,
    keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Cheers

  30. Undeniably imagine that that you said. Your favourite reason seemed to be at the internet the easiest thing to
    bear in mind of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the
    same time as other people consider concerns that
    they plainly don’t know about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and outlined out the entire thing
    with no need side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

  31. After looking at a number of the articles on your web page, I honestly like your technique of writing
    a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be
    checking back in the near future. Please visit my
    website as well and let me know what you think.

  32. I wanted to thank you for this very good read!!

    I absolutely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to look
    at new things you post…

  33. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It really helpful & it helped me out much.
    I’m hoping to give something back and help others like you helped
    me.

  34. Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thanks for sharing!

  35. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts
    as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My website is in the very same area of interest as
    yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Regards!

  36. Can I simply just say what a relief to uncover someone that truly knows
    what they’re discussing online. You actually know how to bring a problem to light
    and make it important. More and more people must check this out and understand
    this side of your story. It’s surprising you are not more popular given that you surely have the gift.

  37. Excellent site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find
    good quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

  38. Right here is the perfect site for anybody who hopes to understand this topic.
    You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you
    (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic that’s been discussed
    for a long time. Great stuff, just wonderful!

  39. Unquestionably consider that that you said. Your favorite justification appeared
    to be at the web the simplest factor to consider of.
    I say to you, I certainly get irked whilst people think about worries that they plainly don’t realize about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and outlined out the whole thing with no
    need side effect , other folks could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

  40. Hello very nice blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb ..
    I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m happy to search out so many useful info right here within the post, we want develop more techniques on this regard, thanks for
    sharing. . . . . .

  41. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having
    a hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  42. I’ve been browsing online greater than 3 hours as of late,
    but I never discovered any interesting article like
    yours. It’s beautiful price enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you did, the net will likely be much more useful than ever before.

Leave a Reply to nowtodaynews.com Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *