A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that most kids probably won't be interested in this mature drama, which deals with complex issues and relationships. There's a central adulterous liaison and scenes with nudity, foreplay, and suggested sexual activity. Several scenes with a prostitute include partial nudity and strong sexuality. There's some swearing, drinking, and smoking, though none to excess.
What's the story?
In BREAKING AND ENTERING, Will (Jude Law) and Liv (Robin Wright Penn) have been together for 10 years. Together, they're trying to raise Bea (Poppy Rogers), Liv's 13-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. Bea's behavior, which may be the result of autism, increasingly strains their relationship. Will's work as an environmentally conscious architect and designer has brought him to King's Cross, a section of London which is home to an influx of Bosnian immigrants, both Christian and Muslim. The area is downtrodden; the community is struggling. Amira (Juliette Binoche) is worried about her 16-year-old son, Miro (Rafi Gavron), a fledgling gang member who's been breaking into Will's office to steal equipment. As Will makes a personal attempt to stop the robberies, he meets Amira, and they become romantically involved. The lives of both families are dramatically impacted when their affair is exposed and Miro's criminal activity is discovered.
Is it any good?
It's rare that an intimate film deals so beautifully with the delicate issues faced by the characters in Breaking and Entering. Anthony Minghella has written and directed an original story that examines elements of contemporary life that affect everyone: love, parenting a challenging child, the constantly shifting urban landscape, and moral versus immoral behavior. It should appeal to anyone who appreciates a good personal story painted on a canvas of larger world concerns.
Minghella has assembled fine actors who bring depth and intelligence to their roles. The characters are flawed but ultimately sympathetic, which makes spending two hours with them highly satisfying. The story is fresh, inventive, and relevant. The entire production has been mounted with care, attention to detail, and, most important, the desire to bring a positive message, a thoughtful world view, and compelling entertainment to mature viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this movie shows parents dealing with difficult children in positive ways and using community resources to get help. How much are these parents willing to sacrifice for their kids? What happens when one partner in a relationship is dishonest and betrays the other? How important is forgiveness? What other movies have you seen that focus on finding ways to preserve a family in crisis? Does the movie help viewers understand the problems faced by new members of a community? What is the filmmaker's attitude about rehabilitation versus punishment?