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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Addresses issue of medication: It can make you feel better, but there are also side effects and a feeling that you're not entirely "yourself." Is it better to have that "self" feeling, if it means risking other things? Movie doesn't give definitive answer, but it's an interesting discussion. Some discussion about health care in general (movie argues that it's better in England than in the United States).
Positive Role Models
Hannah selflessly goes out of her way to help Theo, but her motives -- outside of friendship or a debt of gratitude -- aren't very clear. She seems to try to be a good person throughout, even if she sometimes makes iffy decisions. Other characters aren't so admirable.
Violence & Scariness
Cops arrest a man, beating him, drawing guns. Tense schizophrenia-related scenes include shouting, stress, noise. In a moving car, a character grabs the driver's arms away from the wheel; the car goes out of control. Another character has scars; she explains that she "drove into a tree."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss passionately. One character kisses another on the cheek. Spoken sexual references.
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Many uses of "f--k" and "f--king." Also "s--t," "a--hole," "hell," "whacking off," "oh my God," and "Jesus Christ" (used as an exclamation).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters take "magic mushrooms" at a party. Discussions about medication: antidepressants and antipsychotics. Reference to "bad acid." Drinking at party. Smoking at party. Other drug-related talk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lost Transmissions is a drama about the effect of schizophrenia on the friendship of two Los Angeles musicians (Juno Temple and Simon Pegg). It has many references to medications (antidepressants, antipsychotics, etc.), characters take magic mushrooms, and there's some drinking and smoking, as well as other drug references. Language is very strong, with multiple use of "f--k" or "f--king" and more. Cops arrest a man and beat him, and there are stressful moments of shouting and noise. A man grabs the arms of another man who's driving, causing the car to swerve out of control. Two women kiss passionately in a swimming pool, and there's brief sex-related dialogue. Despite strong performances and likable characters, the movie doesn't quite make a believable connection between the friends, and much of it feels false or tentative. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
An earnest attempt to find empathy in a horrifying situation, this indecisive drama doesn't quite emotionally connect its two main characters. The scuzzy, brownish visual palette doesn't help much, either. Lost Transmissions starts well, and the characters are, by themselves, quite interesting. Their dialogue and the performances are naturalistic and charming, and it's easy to get behind them -- for a time. The movie is also bold enough to depict a platonic male-female friendship, with no promise of romance (nor threat of violence). But the movie sags under the weight of this question: How far would Hannah really go to help Theo? Is she doing it out of friendship or a feeling of debt?
It's never quite clear, and there's a constant gap in the story as a result. Moreover, the movie's depiction of the Los Angeles music industry never feels truly genuine. It feels a little fake, a little forced, especially when Hannah lands such a huge job in such a short time. As the pop star, the usually delightful Daddario gets very little screen time and has little to do other than imitate what someone thinks a pop star might act like. Finally, characters constantly flip-flop on issues like whether or not to stop taking medication (to remain "pure") and on getting, and giving, help. Ultimately, Lost Transmissions leaves a little too much hanging in the air to feel fully satisfying.
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