Parents' Guide to

51 Birch Street

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Absorbing docu on family secrets. See with teens.

Movie NR 2006 88 minutes
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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+
Watch this with your teenagers!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a very difficult and rewarding personal journey thoughtful viewers will relish. When Doug is offered 30 years of his mother's daily diaries, he debates about whether or not to read them, and finally does. The entries reveal that she feels overwhelmed and unhappy as a '50s housewife to the typical strong-and-silent type husband. She eventually goes to psychotherapy and falls hard for her therapist; she obsesses both about her therapist and her self-discovery process. She writes intense, introspective poetry.

Interspersed with these revelatory diary entries are interviews with Doug's siblings, recalling how "she wasn't a warm mother" and that poetry they read in the past was their only clue about her richer inner life. They also discuss never spending alone time with their stoic father growing up, and wonder over the "new improved dad" they're seeing now. Doug also talks to his mother's best friend, his mother's brother, and a rabbi. In the process he pieces together a portrait of a difficult marriage of two people who meant well and he cautiously tries to forge a better relationship with his father before he packs up and moves to Florida.

Movie Details

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