The House of Tomorrow

Studio: Shout! Studios
Directed by Peter Livolsi

Apr 24, 2018 Web Exclusive
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The House of Tomorrow's protagonist, Sebastian Pendergast (Asa Butterfield), has lived a life unlike anyone else his age. His mind and imagination know no bounds, but living a life mostly outside of societal norms have hampered his understanding of what most teenagers go through or like. He is homeschooled by his Nana (Ellen Burstyn), who took him in after his parents passed away. They live together in a giant dome which attracts large groups of people, making Sebastian the House of Tomorrow's tour guide.

One day, Sebastian is giving a tour to a church group led by Alan (Nick Offerman), when Nana suffers a stroke, and he helps Sebastian rush her to the hospital. Alan and his son, Jared (Alex Wolff), sit with Sebastian until they know how Nana will be. Jared is a complete divergence from his father and does everything he can to not be what his father wishes. He has green hair, paints his nails black and loves punk rock. Sebastian had never heard of such a genre of music and Jared reluctantly takes him under his wing, teaching Sebastian about life outside the dome.

Throughout the breezy 90 minutes of The House of Tomorrow, we watch as Sebastian assimilates into "normal teenage life," while trying to respect what his grandmother needs from him. He becomes infatuated with the music Jared introduces him to and the two create and band together. It's a whole new world for Sebastian and - despite feeling like a stranger in a strange land - he embraces it.

Writer-director Peter Livolsi keeps things feeling fresh and vibrant, even when the entire trajectory of The House of Tomorrow is something we have seen a million times. Butterfield has always been an actor who never seemed entirely comfortable on screen, rarely registering as a comfortable leading man. The role of Sebastian fits him like a glove, bringing us on Sebastian's journey and making us believe every step.

The House of Tomorrow doesn't get bogged down in genre trappings but uses them to create something sweet and enjoyable. The House of Tomorrow is worth a visit.

Author rating: 7/10

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Rahul Singh
May 5th 2018
1:37am

The two main characters are good at heart, even though their artistic expression leans toward anger and aggression.

Syringe Filters
July 25th 2018
1:50am

In Peter Livolsi’s The House of Tomorrow, about a grandmother (Ellen Burstyn) and grandson who live in a geodesic dome in Minnesota, is bland and manufactured.