Previously at the ICA - Films

Brady Corbet, The Childhood of a Leader, 2015

The Childhood of a Leader

26 Aug 20167 Sep 2016

This dark but compelling dissertation on the making of a dictator centres on adolescent Prescott (magnetic newcomer Tom Sweet). Prescott is ignored and mistreated by his ineffectual mother (Bérénice Bejo) and intolerant, self-absorbed father (Liam Cunningham), an American diplomat tasked with negotiating the Versailles Treaty after World War I. The boy’s escalating tantrums are watched with bemused interest by family friend Charles (Robert Pattinson).

But simmering below the surface is much skulduggery, which processed and channelled by Prescott gradually signposts where it all will end up: in bloody tears. In actor Brady Corbet’s (Force MajeureSimon Killer) directorial debut, the historical references and implications are neatly handled through newsreels and allusions, and the pacing and performances propel things forwards to a grimly inevitable conclusion, helped along by Scott Walker’s eerie score.

The Childhood of a Leader, dir. Brady Corbet, UK/Hungary/France 2015, 116 mins

THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER - Official UK Trailer. In Cinemas 19 August

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