5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
"All I want is someone to eat lunch with", 15 Aug 2011
Since Diane's scathing review is written from the perspective of an experienced parent, an equally knowledgeable one is surely also due from a (former) gifted child.
Admittedly, Little Man Tate is hardly a work of social realism (it lurches from comedy to fantasy to melodrama in places). The two mother figures are limited by being binary opposites, the happy ending is too 'pat' and the ultimate message - that common sense and abstract genius need each other - is rather `on the nose'. However, Jodie Foster was herself something of a child prodigy, and this film is infused with the child's viewpoint. It's a flawed little gem.
While I never had Fred's level of genius, I skipped two years at school, outperformed my peers across most of the curriculum, and didn't learn to 'mask'. Seeing this film for the first time in my early twenties I finally found a character in fiction who represented my experiences. So while the two female leads are rather cartoon-like, I found Fred - a touchingly straightforward and arresting performance by Adam Hann-Byrd - entirely believable and relatable. His isolation and social ineptitude, his inability to stop thinking, even the disastrous birthday party, all took me right back to my childhood. Sure it's simplistic, even a missed opportunity in places, but it's also surprisingly truthful. At least, it spoke to me.