An excellent argument for a vasectomy, the Swiss-made Vitus offers up another one of those annoying child prodigies who just wants to be a normal child, no matter that he's a genius pianist/financier who can afford to buy and sell normal childhoods a million times over. (Isn't stock market manipulation a bad thing for kids to learn? Never mind....) But we must try to sympathize with Vitus (played by two child actors at different ages), and listen to the sage advice of his wise grandfather (Bruno Ganz, showing the same twinkle in his eye that he employed playing Hitler in Downfall). Vitus belongs to what might be called the Euro-cute school of cinema, and its few tolerable scenes mock continental pieties toward culture and family. (The actor playing 12-year-old Vitus, Teo Gheorghiu, is an actual piano prodigy who does a very funny takedown of Russian romantic overkill at the keyboard.) Fortunately, the Swiss know better than to make their chocolate this sweet.
Teo Gheorghiu at the keys.
Opens at Metro, Fri., Aug. 3. Rated PG. 100 minutes.