A Shine of Rainbows

  • Review Date: September 19, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Magical coming-of-age story is intensely emotional.
  • Review Date: September 19, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie expresses how valuable the love of a parent is to a child. A child learns to overcome his timidity, his stuttering, and his past experiences of being bullied at the orphanage with the help of a loving mother figure. The positives of adopting older children are shown. Characters show compassion for suffering animals.

Positive role models

Maire is a patient, kind, and loving adoptive mother. Tomas learns to be more confident in himself and his place in the world, and his deep sensitivity, initially treated as a weakness, is shown to be one of his great strengths. As someone who grew up an orphan herself, Maire shows great compassion for the orphan boy. Tomas also takes care of an abandoned baby seal he names Smudge.

Violence

Early in the film, a character is bullied by having a stool kicked out from under him, getting slapped in the head, and having his pencils broken in half by other boys. One character gets attacked by a bird while trying to steal its eggs. Another is tossed out of a boat while trying to row through choppy waters. A main character dies of an illness.

Sex

Brief kissing between a husband and wife, who are also seen in bed together talking.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character smokes a pipe, and he later drinks whiskey to cope with grief, and is found passed out at the kitchen table with a bottle in his hands.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this poignant coming-of-age story set in the beautiful Irish countryside includes the death of a parental figure. Themes of bullying, loss, and abandonment are throughout this heartrending film, and while such topics may be difficult for younger or less mature children, A Shine of Rainbows should spark interesting discussions within families about these issues. Expect some strong positive lessons about compassion and the value of parental love mixed in with the hard stuff.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Tomas (John Bell), a shy, timid boy with a stutter who is bullied in a dreary orphanage, is rescued from his surroundings by Maire (Connie Nielsen), a kind and compassionate former orphan who takes Tomas to the island of Corrie where she hopes to adopt him. It is in Corrie where Tomas, with the boundless patience of Maire, begins to overcome his timidity and he engages in all sorts of bucolic frolics with other children on the island. Maire's husband, the sullen Alec (Aidan Quinn), is reluctant to share in Maire's unconditional love for Tomas, but as events take trying and tragic turns, he must decide whether to adopt Tomas or send him back to the orphanage.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Full of vibrant color and breathtaking scenes of the Irish countryside, A SHINE OF RAINBOWS, based on a novel by Lillian Beckwith, is a touching coming-of-age story. As the title implies, rainbows make regular quasi-magical appearances on the Island of Corrie, and so do seals, and there's a legend about an old statue that seems to come to life.

Initially, Tomas is a pitiable character bordering on pathetic (no matter his hardships), but as we get to know him, we see him as a kind, likeable, and ultimately heroic boy transcending tremendous difficulties. The story of Tomas learning to overcome his past and his fears should have a broad appeal to families, and even the most jaded curmudgeon wearied of these sentimental stories should, at least, be entranced by the seaside, the hills, and the cottages serving as the backdrop in this film.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the effects of bullying. Does this movie depict bullying in a realistic way? What are the long-term effects of bullying? What can kinds and parents do when confronted with bullying?

  • How is this movie different from those produced in Hollywood? How would this movie have been different, do you think, if it was made specifically for an American audience?

  • How does this film depict grief? Does it seem accurate? How can kids and adults cope with grief in a healthy way?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 13, 2010
DVD release date:March 15, 2011
Cast:Aidan Quinn, Connie Nielsen, John Bell
Director:Vic Sarin
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Drama
Topics:Book characters
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic elements, mild peril, smoking

This review of A Shine of Rainbows was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 July 16, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

shine rainbows

Families can talk about the effects of bullying. Does this movie depict bullying in a realistic way? What are the long-term effects of bullying? What can kinds and parents do when confronted with bullying? How is this movie different from those produced in Hollywood? How would this movie have been different, do you think, if it was made specifically for an American audience? How does this film depict grief? Does it seem accurate? How can kids and adults cope with grief in a healthy way?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old August 22, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great if you don't mind crying

AMAZING movie!!! Though very, very, very, sad!!! I started shaking because I was crying so hard!!!
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old October 3, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

good

great story,i cried and cried though.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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