© Schwarz-Weiß Filmverleih

Switzerland 2006

Opening 21 Dec 2006

Directed by: Fredi M. Murer
Writing credits: Peter Luisi, Fredi M. Murer
Principal actors: Fabrizio Borsani, Bruno Ganz, Teo Gheorghiu, Julika Jenkins, Urs Jucker

This is one of the best children’s films I have seen in many years. Vitus is the precocious son of a Swiss father who is an inventor and a British mother, who is overly ambitious for her only child. He plays the piano, has an extraordinary sense of hearing, and reads encyclopaedias in kindergarten. His mother has high hopes for him and proudly encourages the little Wunderkind to perform for the dinner guests. His grandfather (Bruno Ganz) is a kind of modern grandfather out of a Heidi fairy tale; he lives in an old chalet and works with wood. He takes time for the boy and encourages him in his wish to fly. Vitus’ babysitter allows him to be normal, but she is soon fired for being a bad influence. Vitus takes his fate into his own hands, jumps from the balcony, suffers a head injury and the doctors declare that he has lost more than a few IQ points, dashing his mother’s hopes. Little does she know that he has developed a secret life, a twist in the plot which requires a stretch of your imagination, but this is a fantasy after all, a kind of Billy Elliott story in reverse. Contrary to Billy Elliot who must fight to achieve his grand goal, Vitus must fight to become like other children. Still, there is a tremendous finale worthy of any Billy Elliot. Most amazing is the star, Teo Gheorghiu, who in real life is a young and successful concert pianist. (Becky Tan)

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