Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Beautiful Creatures

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, scary images, and some sexual material
Profanity:Some strong language, crude insult
Nudity/Sex:Some sensual/sexual images and implications, teen kissing
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Supernatural images, violence, peril, characters injured and killed, references to loss of parents
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2013
DVD Release Date:May 20, 2013

In a small Southern town that feels far from everything, where everyone is “too stupid to leave or too stuck to move,” a teenage boy named Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) dreams every night of a girl he has never seen.  Ethan has recently lost his mother.  His father is never there.  He is about to start his junior year in high school “so insanity’s inevitable.”  But his mother’s best friend Amma (Viola Davis), the local librarian, looks out for him.  There are books that he loves.  And the dream feels very real and somehow comforting.

Suddenly it is real as Lena Duchannes (Alice Englart) comes to town to live with her uncle, Macon Ravenswood (Jeremy Irons) in a creepy old mansion. Ethan feels an immediate connection, but Lena seems reluctant to talk to him or to make any friends in her new school.  Some of the other kids in the class feel the same way.  There are rumors that the Ravenswoods have strange powers.

The rumors are true.  “You know how some families are musical and some have money.  We have powers,” Lena explains.  She is a witch or, to use the term her people prefer, she is a “caster.”  She is 15 and on her 16th birthday she will be chosen for the light side or the dark.

No one wants Ethan and Lena to be together.  But the love they share is stronger than any caster powers from the dark or the light.

The storyline is fairly basic but touches of self-aware humor help to hold our interest.  And it is fun to watch Irons swan around in ascots and smoking jackets, striding past the swooping banister-less staircase in his mansion.  Thompson and Emmy Rossum clearly relish the chance to chew scenery with Spanish moss hanging all over it. They revel in the Southern gothic setting, tossing off Dixie-isms like “Slap my ass and call me Sally!” and “She looks like death eating a cracker.”  Viola Davis does what she can stuck with an exposition role that includes a completely random Nancy Reagan reference.  It is also buoyed by the lushy imaginative settings from production designer Richard Sherman and goth-glam costumes from Jeffrey Kurland and an entertaining assortment of literary and popular culture references, from Slaughterhouse Five and poet Charles Bukowski to the “Final Destination” series, Bob Dylan, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Jane Austen.  Most important, writer/director Richard LaGravenes creates a world where strange things seem both wonderful and normal.  The various transformations, expanding powers, and sense of alienation seem like a tangible reflection (and only mild exaggeration) of the experience of adolescence.

Parents should know that this film includes themes of good and bad magic, some disturbing images, characters in peril, and sad deaths.

Family discussion: Who makes the choice for the casters?  What makes Lena different?  What do you learn from the sacrifice in the movie?

If you like this, try: the series of books by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the books read by Ethan and Lena in the movie, and the “Twilight” films



Previous Posts

Trailer: Days and Nights With Katie Holmes and Allison Janney
Inspired by Chekhov's "The Seagull," this is the story of a weekend at a country house that includes a famous actress, her discontented son, and people who love the wrong people and are angry at each other -- sometimes at the same time. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEs6vXztmBM[/youtub

posted 8:00:41am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in "Serena"
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence re-team in "Serena," which looks very intriguing but does not yet have a US release date. Stay tuned. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-wFHiZHZVaU?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:35am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of Ella the Elephant
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL7Eup7JXScZz_ZAyJKN2XMIdAVp-n3iCW" frameborder="0"] Join Ella the Elephant and her kindhearted friends in this all-new animated series from Disney Junior featuring 8 charming episodes. Elephant Island is home to many

posted 3:37:58pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Kellie Pickler Joins the Veggie Tales in Beauty and the Beet
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h9mcbvBvE0[/youtube] Country star Kellie Pickler joins the cast in "Beauty and the Beet," from the Veggie Tales folks, coming out October 14, 2014. (With a name like that, it was just a question of time!) BEAUTY AND THE BEET, a brand-new VeggieTales mus

posted 3:30:42pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: Baby Got Class
A great video for Back to School from the hilarious Holderness family! [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/s56-Ta35JRk?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:33:19am Sep. 15, 2014 | 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.