The Most Genius Movie I've Ever Seen
By one definition.
Wait, am I hearing this correctly? You and/or your kids have never seen the 1991 Jodie Foster-directed, Jodie Foster-starring, Debi Mazar- and Dianne Wiest- and Harry Connick Jr.-costarring, child-prodigy drama Little Man Tate? It’s a shame, but also an opportunity! When I was a youth, I was obsessed with this movie—I’d probably seen it two dozen times by age 12—something I always chalked up to me being a little, let’s say, quirky in my interest in adult-y PG movies. (To reiterate, this is a drama featuring Dianne Wiest.) Turns out, the appeal of this movie is more universal than I realized. Our more all-American kids loved it and have inhaled it multiple times. The performances are incredible. Young Conick Jr. is a charisma machine. Adam Hann-Byrdis convincing as the titular Fred Tate. And did I mention DIANNE WIEST? The story is bracingly human—and legitimately interesting. It’ll give your brood a lot to talk about for days to come, and now it’s streaming for free with your Amazon Prime subscription.
He’s also really good as young Alan Parrish in 1995’s Jumanji, and heartbreaking as Sandy Carver in The Ice Storm. Talented kid!