The Childhood of a Leader (film)
|The Childhood of a Leader|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brady Corbet|
|Produced by||Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre|
|Screenplay by||Brady Corbet|
|Music by||Scott Walker|
|Edited by||Dávid Jancsó|
Bow and Arrow Entertainment
|Distributed by||IFC Films|
The Childhood of a Leader is a 2015 historical mystery drama film, co-written, co-produced and directed by Brady Corbet, and is Corbet's feature film directorial debut. It is loosely based on Jean-Paul Sartre's short story The Childhood of a Leader, published in 1939 in a collection entitled The Wall, and John Fowles's 1965 novel The Magus. Corbet co-wrote the screenplay with his wife Mona Fastvold, and filmed both an English and a French language version.
The film chronicles the childhood of a fascist leader in the period immediately following World War I. Production began in early 2015, in Budapest, Hungary. The film had its world premiere in-competition (Horizon section) at 72nd Venice International Film Festival on 5 September 2015 and won two awards at the festival, Best Debut film and Best Director.
In 1919, an American boy living in France with his authoritarian parents witnesses the creation of the Treaty of Versailles, which shapes his beliefs and causes him to develop a terrifying ego.
- Bérénice Bejo as The Mother
- Liam Cunningham as The Father
- Stacy Martin as Ada
- Robert Pattinson as Charles Marker / adult Prescott
- Tom Sweet as Prescott, The Boy
- Yolande Moreau as Mona
- Jacques Boudet as The Priest
- Michel Subor
- Sophie Curtis
- Patrick McCullough
- Michael Epp as Mr. Advisor
- Roderick Hill as Older American Gentleman
Brady Corbet began writing the script of the film ten years before on his own but later put it down as he considered it "too big" for a debut film. He later pick it up again after support from his partner Mona Fastvold. On 1 April 2013, it was announced that Corbet was set to make his feature film directorial debut with a France-set World War I film, based on the script he co-wrote with Mona Fastvold. Corbet would produce along with French producers Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre and Chris Coen, as well as Istvan Major. Film Producer Helena Danielsson of Hepp Film also came on board to get the film additional financing.
In 2015, Corbet said that the script of the film was inspired by Robert Bresson's Mouchette, Maurice Pialat's Under the Sun of Satan, Ermanno Olmi's The Tree of Wooden Clogs, Carl Theodor Dreyer's Day of Wrath and Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.
On 10 December 2013, it was announced that Juliette Binoche, Tim Roth and Robert Pattinson had joined the cast of the film. In August 2014, it was announced that both Binoche and Roth had left the project. Roth dropped due to scheduling conflict while Binoche citing the reason that it was "too dark". The same month Binoche and Roth were replaced by Bérénice Bejo and Liam Cunningham.
Corbet talking about the casting and characters in the film said that
I have intentionally not revealed the identity of (the boy who will become leader) character. And it's a funny thing because it's not for the reasons that people think. One thing I will happily tell everybody is that the character is not Hitler [laughs]. And the character is not Mussolini. It's someone else. And there's the dramatic event where you learn who this person is and that's something I want to save for people. Robert Pattinson is not playing Hitler as you now know [laughs]. I'll go on the record saying that.
Corbet held auditions for the casting of the role of Prescott, describing it as "(we) held simple auditions (one page of text) for the boys reading for the main role. Des Hamilton and his great team found Tom Sweet and brought him in. Tom was everything we had envisioned and more. He is the film’s greatest triumph."
Production was originally slated to start from November 2014 but later moved to January 2015. Pattinson describing the film said that "It's about the youth of a future dictator in the Thirties, like an amalgamation of Hitler, Mussolini and some others." Bejo talking about her character in the film said that "(I'm playing) the character of a mother whose son is very particular, a little awkward and weird. Over the scenes you're realizing that it is not a normal guy, he'll become a monster or something. And it is about the relationship with the mother and father."
|The Childhood of a Leader (Original Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||19 August 2016|
|Genre||Classical, avant-garde, experimental|
|Producer||Scott Walker; Peter Walsh|
|Scott Walker chronology|
Singer-songwriter, composer and record producer Scott Walker composed the score of the film. The soundtrack album was released by 4AD on 19 August 2016. The Film served as closing film at 2016 International Film Festival Rotterdam, where the score of the film was performed live during the screening of the film.
Walker's score received positive response, as Gary Goldstein of LA Times said that it "impresses and fascinates", Donald Clarke of Irish Times called it "MVP" of the film, while Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian described it as an "almost Herrmann-esque orchestral score from Scott Walker. The touch of suppressed psychopathic rage comes from his music."
|1.||"Orchestral Tuning Up"||0:17|
|6.||"Down the Stairs"||0:32|
|7.||"Up the Stairs"||1:07|
|11.||"Boy, Mirror, Car Arriving"||1:37|
|14.||"On the Way to the Meeting"||1:05|
|18.||"New Dawn (Synth Layout for Cut Scene)"||1:15|
Promotion and marketing
On 13 February 2015, Producer Chris Coen released the first image featuring Robert Pattinson, Bérénice Bejo and Liam Cunningham in their costumes. Another still featuring Pattinson, Bejo and Cunningham was released on 8 April 2015. Exclusive footage from the film screened at Marché du Film of 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Two clips from the film were released on 4 September 2015. On 25 October 2015, it was screened at Jacob Burns Film Center.
The film released in USA on 22 July 2016, in theatres and on VOD simultaneously by IFC Films. Originally it was to be released by Metrodome Distribution in UK but few days before its release the company filed for bankruptcy, after which Soda Pictures released it in UK on 19 August 2016.
The film received positive reviews from the critics, with emphasis on Corbet's screenplay and direction, the performances of the cast, Scott Walker's music and Lol Crawley's cinematography. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 89% of 55 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 7.5 out of 10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Childhood of a Leader mirrors the rise of fascism in post-WWI Europe with a well-acted, confidently crafted look at one young man's unsettling coming of age." Metacritic gives the film a score of 68 based on reviews from 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
David Ehrlich in his review for Indiewire said that "With his unusually accomplished directorial debut, Corbet delivers a strange and startling film that reflects the unique trajectory of his career, as well as the influence of the iconoclastic directors with whom he's already worked." Lee Marshall of Screen International wrote a positive review for the film by saying that "The Childhood Of A Leader is as relentlessly sombre and compelling" and compare it with Michael Haneke's work that "it shares something of Haneke's dispassionate view of human nature, The Childhood of a Leader is in no way derivative. Dominated by dread, veering into art horror at points, this compulsively dark story takes no prisoners." Tommaso Tocci of The Film Stage called it "a huge psychological and tonal balancing act that could crumble at each turn, and yet never does." Guy Lodge of Variety called it "a overweening, maddening but not inconsiderable directorial debut for actor Brady Corbet, which plays as something of a straight-faced parody of a well-upholstered historical biopic." In his review for Eye For Film, Damon Wise said that "It sounds like a slow-paced chamber piece, and some scenes are, but a brilliant framing device involving a stunning orchestral score by, of all people, Scott Walker gives the film a nerve-wracking urgency." John Bleasdale of Cine Vu gave it five out five stars by saying that "(it) is a dark, enigmatic piece of work that hovers between visionary greatness and petty domestic triviality. Corbet's inaugural stint behind the camera marks a stunning debut and the finest film at Venice thus far."
However, Deborah Young in her review for The Hollywood Reporter said that "There is actually a lot of imagination at work in the film, though frustratingly it rarely comes together in an emotionally meaningful way."
|2015||Venice International Film Festival||Horizons (Orizzonti) – Best Film||Brady Corbet||Nominated|||
|Lion of the Future – Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film||Won|||
|Horizons (Orizzonti) – Best Director||Won|||
|2015||Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival||TAP Revelation Award – Best Film||Nominated|||
|TAP Revelation Award – Best Director||Won|||
|2016||American Society of Cinematographers||Spotlight Award||Nominated|||
|2016||Filmfest München||CineVision Award - Best Film By An Emerging Director||Nominated|||
|2016||Gothenburg Film Festival||International Debut Award||Nominated|||
|2016||International Istanbul Film Festival||Golden Tulip - International Competition||Nominated|||
|Golden Tulip Special Jury Prize - International Competition||Won|||
|2016||Sydney Film Festival||Best Film||Nominated|||
|2017||Independent Spirit Awards||Best First Feature||Brady Corbet, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Chris Coen, Ron Curtis, Helena Danielsson, Mona Fastvold and István Major||Nominated|||
|Best Cinematography||Lol Crawley||Nominated|||
- "'The Childhood Of A Leader' Review: Brady Corbet's Directorial Debut Is An Enthralling Mind-F*ck". IndieWire. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "Stacy Martin joins Childhood of a Leader". Retrieved February 3, 2015.
- "100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015 Brady Corbet's The Childhood of a Leader". Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "Robert Pattinson to Co-Star in 'The Childhood of a Leader' (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Robert Pattinson Going To War For The Childhood Of A Leader". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "No Longer Funny Games Foes; Corbet Set to Direct Tim Roth, Cosmopolis' Binoche & Pattinson Pair in "The Childhood of a Leader"". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Brady Corbet in Paradise". theaesthete.com. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "'The Sleepwalker' Writers on Balancing Filmmaking with Baby-Making". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Hot projects on Screenbase". Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "Venice Fest Reveals Robust Lineup Featuring Hollywood Stars and International Auteurs". Variety. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- "Venice: Robert Pattinson-Starrer 'Childhood of a Leader' Wins Best Debut Film". Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- Dargis, Manohla (July 21, 2016). "Review: In 'The Childhood of a Leader,' a Monster Made, Not Born". Retrieved August 7, 2016.
- "David Gordon Green's 'Crisis,' Bérénice Bejo Joins 'Childhood,' and More". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Weinstein Acquires 'The Eichmann Show'; 'Childhood Of A Leader' Adds Cast; More Berlin Briefs". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Q & A: Director Brady Corbet Talks About His 'Childhood'". Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- Zakarin, Jordan (1 April 2013). "'Martha Marcy' Star Brady Corbet to Direct French Period Film as Feature Debut (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
- "Cunningham, Moreau join Bejo, Pattinson drama". Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "Malmo Producer makes film about the Treaty of Versailles with Robert Pattinson". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "5 FILMS THAT INFLUENCED 'THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER'". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- "JULIETTE BINOCHE: 50 YEARS OF EMOTIONS". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Global Impact Competition 2015 – orientation meeting and introductory workshop". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Berenice Bejo Joins Robert Pattinson Drama 'The Childhood of a Leader' (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Robert Pattinson: Exclusive Interview For Esquire September Issue". Esquire. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Bérénice Bejo: "Desde muy chiquita pensé que iba a ser actriz"". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "'Nymphomaniac' star joins Robert Pattinson in 'The Childhood of a Leader'". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Its a wrap!". Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "PHOTO: The Childhood of a Leader is in production in Budapest!". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Day 1 in Budapest". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Brady Corbet's 'The Childhood of a Leader' to Close IFFR 2016". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "'Nymphomaniac' Star Stacy Martin Joins 'Childhood Of A Leader' With Robert Pattinson, Scott Walker To Score". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "'The Childhood of a Leader' Soundtrack Announced". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Brady Corbet's 'The Childhood of a Leader' to Close IFFR 2016". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "'Childhood of a Leader' spins wintry tale around the formation of a fascist mind". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "Childhood of a Leader review: a stunning high-art debut". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "The Childhood of a Leader review – stunning origins story for a future fascist". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "Filme com Robert Pattinson e Bérénice Bejo ganha foto". Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- "FIRST PHOTO: 'Childhood of a Leader' Cast as Characters!". Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- "CANNES2015". Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- "Venice: First 2 Clips From 'Childhood Of A Leader' Starring Bérénice Bejo, Stacy Martin, Robert Pattinson & More". Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- Andreas Wiseman. "Brady Corbet's 'Childhood Of A Leader' secures UK deal". Screen Daily. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Berenice Bejo's 'Childhood of a Leader' Finds New U.K. Home After Metrodome Crash". Variety. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "'Childhood Of A Leader' (2016)". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- "'Childhood Of A Leader': Metacritic". Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- "'Childhood Of A Leader': Review". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "The Childhood of a Leader Venice 2015 Review". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Venice Film Review: 'The Childhood of a Leader'". Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- "Venice 2015: The state of independents". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Venice 2015: 'The Childhood of a Leader'". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "'The Childhood of a Leader': Venice Review". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival Awards". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- "'Arrival,' 'Lion' Among American Society of Cinematographers Nominees". Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- "Munich Film Festival Spotlights Best of German, World Cinema". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award 2016". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- "35TH ISTANBUL FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "'Dust Cloth' chosen Best Film at Istanbul Film Festival". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER MOVIE REVIEW (SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL)". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "Independent Spirit Awards: 'Moonlight,' 'American Honey' Score Leading 6 Nominations Each". Retrieved 23 November 2016.