Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Disconnect

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rate R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language, violence, and drug use, some involving teens
Profanity:Very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Nudity, sexual references, teen sex workers
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, drug use
Violence/Scariness:Tense emotional confrontations, some violence, gun
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:April 19, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rate R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language, violence, and drug use, some involving teens
Profanity: Very strong language
Nudity/Sex: Nudity, sexual references, teen sex workers
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, drug use
Violence/Scariness: Tense emotional confrontations, some violence, gun
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: April 19, 2013

Viewers will spend much of this movie mentally imploring the characters on screen not to do what it is all too disturbingly clear that they are ineluctably drawn to do.  This is a very scary movie with three stories about the disastrous consequences of revealing too much online.  And the scariest part is off-line.  Far more devastating than the painful consequences of the bad choices they make is the reason they make them, the yearning for connection.

Grief over the death of a baby drives a couple apart and they separately seek online support to make them feel less helpless and isolated and are ensnared by an identity thief.  A devoted but distracted father does not know that his shy, sensitive son is being catfished by a couple of classmates, much less that the boy .  An ambitious television reporter wants to write a story about an underage online sex worker, and that means she must get him to trust her.  In their own ways, each of them is seducing the other for professional reasons.

Advertisement

These fact-based stories could easily come across as cheesy Lifetime dramas, but documentary director Henry-Alex Rubin (“Murderball”) gives it an intimate, natural tone.  Sensitive performances from the entire cast are absorbing, especially Jason Bateman in his first full-on dramatic role as the father of the boy who thinks he has an online girlfriend and that she has asked him to send her a nude photo and Frank Grillo as the single father of one of the boys whose prank turns tragic.

The weakest of the stories involves the grieving couple, who decide to take things into their own hands when identify theft drives them to the brink of financial ruin and the revelations of their online activities drive them to the brink of marital disaster.  But even that storyline has some gripping moments as the experience shocks them into talking to each other with more singularity of purpose and honesty than they have shared in a long time.  The journalist’s involvement with the underage online sex worker has some superficially sleazy moments, but Andrea Riseborough (Wallis Simpson in Madonna’s “W.E.”) is  excellent in showing us the character’s struggle with ambition, compassion, professionalism, and vulnerability.  “It’s my job!” various characters cry out at different moments in the movie.  It is just a way of declaring how that makes them responsible, and how it defines them.

Advertisement

As we have had to develop a new term, catfishing, to describe online relationships based on fictional character attributes, and even an entire television series  on the subject, we are only just beginning to understand the way our brains are constructed to fill in the missing elements of these connections with elements from our own subconscious, a sort of romantic Rorschach test.   What draws us in to these stories is the recognition that we bring so much hope and need to these online connections.  But what keeps us thinking afterward is its reminder that while the in-person, real-life connections are what scare us most, it is because that is what we long for so deeply.

Advertisement

Parents should know that this cautionary tale includes nudity, explicit sexual references, very strong language, drinking and drugs, and underage sex workers.

Family discussion: Does this movie make you think differently about your online presence?  How should the rules be changed?  Why was it easier for these people to open up online than in person?

If you like this, try: “Trust”

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Posts

Interview: Rachel Hendrix of "77 Chances"
Rachel Hendrix plays Mac in the faith-based romantic film "77 Chances." It's a "Groundhog Day"-style story about a young man who feels lost ...

posted 3:39:15pm Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Oliver Sacks
We mourn the passing of neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, who illuminated the workings of the brain and set an example of grace and compassion that extended to the way he shared his thoughts about his terminal diagnosis. I first learned ...

posted 9:17:46am Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Three Hundred Year-Old Actors Are Still Working
Scott Feinberg talked to three actors with a combined age of 302 for The Hollywood Reporter. Patricia Morison (age 100), Norman Lloyd (age 100) and Connie Sawyer (age 102) shared memories and offered tips. All are in good health. “I ...

posted 3:32:48pm Aug. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Youth with Michael Caine
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c[/youtube] Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play friends on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is ...

posted 3:25:22pm Aug. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Worst Accents in Movies
Thanks to Indiewire for including me in this great rundown of the all-time worst movie accents. Critics vented frustration and fury, many picking Quentin Tarantino and Dick van Dyke, but I went with two actors who played Robin ...

posted 2:13:18pm Aug. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.