Movie Mom

Movie Mom


21 Grams

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Very explicit sexual references and situation
Alcohol/Drugs:Smoking, drinking, drug use
Violence/Scariness:Graphic violence, including shooting
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:2003

In “21 Grams,” a terrible collision shatters more than the lives of three people. It shatters the very narrative of the story itself.


YouTube Preview Image
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu conveys the fractured disorientation of the three characters with clusters of brief scenes that act as a mosaic, gradually revealing what happened in that devastating moment and how it affected the events and emotions and that followed, even the impact on the very identities of the people involved.

Paul (Sean Penn) is dying. His heart is failing. His wife wants to find a way to have his child. Jack (Benicio Del Toro) is struggling. He has come out of prison with a fierce new religious faith that has his wife and children a little uneasy. Christina (Naomi Watts) is happy. She has overcome a substance abuse problem and is living happily with her husband and daughters.

Then a corner is turned. A driver — maybe in too much of a hurry to get to a birthday party, maybe having had a drink — hits three pedestrians. Lives are lost. Another life is restored. Another is devastated. Is there a way to go on?

Inarritu uses a hand-held camera and directs with a simple, intimate, very pure feeling similar in style to the Dogma 95 movies. Penn gives one of the most sensitive performances of his career. He usually plays characters who are not as smart as he is, but here he is completely convincing as a math professor and he shows us an extraordinary range of subtle and complex emotions. Watts and Del Toro are also outstanding.

Parents should know that the film includes tragic deaths and brutal violence with gory wounds. There are explicit sexual references and situations, including nudity and a brief glimpse of a porno film. Characters drink, smoke, and use drugs. A character attempts suicide. There is very strong language.

Families who see this movie should talk about why Inarritu chose to tell the story this way. How would its impact have been different if told in a more conventional structure? Why is the film called “21 Grams?” What do you think of Jack’s wife’s comment that his duty is to his family? Why do the different characters say, “Life goes on?”

Families who appreciate this film will also appreciate Amores Perros from the same director. They may also like more mainstream films on related subjects, like Return to Me and Bounce.



Previous Posts

A New Alphabet Book for Women's History Month: Rad American Women A-Z
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! is a wonderful new alphabet book to teach girls, boys, and their families abou

posted 3:37:56pm Mar. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Opening this Month: March 2015
Happy March! Looking forward to warmer days and better movies. Some of what we're looking forward to this month: March 6 "Chappie," from "District 9's" Neill Blomkamp, is the story of a robot whose artificial intelligence may just rise to the level of a personality, even a soul, with Hugh Ja

posted 3:35:27pm Mar. 01, 2015 | read full post »

A Purim Take on Uptown Funk -- Shushan Funk
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KsJKSew4BvY?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Happy Purim! May this be a year when all the Hamens of the world are vanquished. This tale, was once told In the days of Achashverosh This one needs a new girl Needs a good girl A strai

posted 12:36:54pm Mar. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Leonard Nimoy
We mourn the loss of Leonard Nimoy, who created one of the most iconic characters of all time, "Star Trek's" half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, with pointed ears and angled eyebrows perfectly designed to convey a wry sense of irony.  The storylines of the original "Star Trek" were provocative polit

posted 12:00:09pm Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

New from Daniele Watts: Muted
Actress Daniele Watts stars as missing teenager Crystal Gladwell in Muted, winner of the 18th annual American Black Film Festival short film competition, showing on HBO throughout March 2015. Muted fol

posted 8:00:46am Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.