Swiss director Fredi M. Murer, whose somber Alpine Fire (1985) featured a deaf boy incestuously stranded with his sister in the mountains, goes to the other extreme with this celebratory, family-friendly fable (2006) about a child genius with supersensitive hearing who finds himself all too immersed in the adult world. The 12-year-old Vitus (portrayed by piano prodigy Teo Gheorghiu), a prisoner of his well-meaning parents’ high expectations, can relax only during visits to his carpenter grandfather (a splendid turn by Bruno Ganz) as they tinker in the workshop and dream of flying. Then a daring self-empowerment scheme—fueled not by CGI-enhanced superpowers but by the ingenious deployment of his hitherto hated intelligence—allows Vitus to commandeer his own fate. In German with subtitles.
2 hours • 2006