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Parents' Guide to

American Woman

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Amazingly acted, mature character study; lots of language.

Movie R 2019 111 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Is It Any Good?

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

Screenwriter Brad Inglesby scatters a trail of clue crumbs for viewers to pick up and nibble on to solve the compelling mystery of how a train wreck of a mother came to be a small-town Jezebel. With Miller's powerful performance and strong guidance from director Jake Scott, we're able to understand why Deb's profound loss may have been the only way to spark her evolution. American Woman is a film that could be used in psychology classes -- and, for older teens, perhaps has use as a cautionary tale. Although she becomes a remarkable example of resilience, it's still hard to see Deb as a role model.

Miller's performance is surely one of the best of 2019. She ekes out subtle changes in a multidimensional character as the story jumps forward through the years of Deb's life. The movie also quietly and rightly addresses how a parent of a missing child so desperately needs closure -- how it's impossible for them to truly move on while dealing with the constant wonder of whether their kid isn't somewhere out there in the world, waiting to be found. While American Woman has all the elements of a heart-wrencher, Deb's persona allows viewers to save their tears until the other shoe finally drops.

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