A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Be open to change and discovery. Forging friendships and new family can help you find yourself. Help others instead of only living for yourself.
Positive Role Models
Agnes is a strong survivor who devoted her life to helping others in need. Her daughter, Cathy, is also a strong positive role model because she's compassionate, kind to everyone despite social standing, and only wants to see others happy. Virgilio becomes more connected with the human side of relationships rather than the business side of them.
Violence & Scariness
No violence shown. A mother looks at a slightly bruised face in the mirror. Later, we hear that she was abused and beaten by her husband and had to "leave to escape him, heal, and find purpose in life." A scene in a car where a young woman imagines hitting her passenger and smushing his face into the windshield. Some discussion about battered women's shelters and healing from domestic abuse and violence.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink wine to celebrate. A young woman displays some signs of drunkenness in conversation. A man drunkenly speaks to himself in his bedroom before passing out.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Finding Agnes is a Filipino drama about a man trying to find answers about his mother, Agnes, who left him as a boy 25 years ago. He must travel to Morocco to search for why his mother left him. The general messages of this simple indie film are positive: rediscovering oneself, finding family, and being a kinder, more caring, and better person. With help from his mother's daughter he didn't know about, Virgilio learns it's still possible to build family even if he had lost his years prior. No swearing, violence, or sex. Some drinking wine while celebrating, and a young woman appears drunk in conversation for a minute. Virgilio also drinks and gets visibly drunk one night, slurring his language, moving haphazardly, and passing out. Some discussion about men abusing and harming their wives, battered women's shelters, and healing from domestic abuse and violence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Be prepared for a slow-moving and at times amateur-feeling indie movie about a successful and very wealthy businessperson discovering family secrets. In Finding Agnes, the pacing is plodding and scene composition soapy. There are odd pauses between spoken lines of dialogue. Occasional audio issues further hurt the presentation of the film, like when spoken dialogue clearly doesn't line up with the mouth of the person speaking or when the audio suddenly changes volume, power, or tonality, as if the audio suddenly switched channels. But the film has heart, and despite the stiff acting and basic plot, there are genuinely touching moments here and there.
Where the film falls apart, however, is the writing. Inside each scene, the dialogue choices and flow are fine despite odd acting performances, but the overall decision not to have Virgilio show any emotion toward his horrible father is odd. For example, upon hearing that his father had demanded all Agnes's letters be thrown out and destroyed, Virgilio doesn't react or seem to care at all. Many of these letters obviously have information about why his mother had to leave and what she has been up to, things Virgilio now seems to care about, but for some reason, he has no ill feeling toward his father because of this. Further, he also shows no anger toward his father upon discovering that he was "horribly emotionally and physically abusive" to Agnes, and that is why she had to leave, to "seek sanctuary at a battered women's shelter, to heal, and find purpose in her life." Again, after hearing all this, Virgilio shows no emotion or anger and the only thing we do get is Virgilio saying after all this that he "respects" his father and thanks him for bestowing upon his son his work ethic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.