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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Raising Izzie is an emotionally intense movie about two young girls whose mother died after a struggle with cancer and set them up logistically and financially to live on their own so they would not be separated in foster care. The girls struggle to survive and keep the secret, and the majority of the movie centers on their struggle to believe in God after their mother's death. The couple who comes into their lives also wrestles over their personal faith while struggling to conceive. There are multiple flashbacks of a sick mother, conversations about having children or not, and many heart-wrenching scenes involving losing one's mother, processing grief, and questioning faith. Best for older kids who can handle intensity.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Gertie (Victoria Staley) and Izzie (Kyla Kennedy) lost their mother to cancer, but before she passed, she set the girls up with shelter and money and a semblance of family togetherness they might not find in a foster home -- that is, if they can stay under the radar of the community and their new teacher, Tonya Freeman (Vanessa Williams), who is intuitive enough to sense that something is not quite right. When Tonya and husband, Greg (Rockmond Dunbar), discover they can't have children, she pushes for adoption. Greg is hesitant until Tonya is hit by a car and remains in a coma, throwing this new family together to wrestle with grief, loss, and faith and to wonder what God has in store for them.
Is it any good?
RAISING IZZIE is a positive but intense film that explores heartfelt issues of faith and family. It's well-acted and intelligent and doesn't hide its faith-based agenda. For children who have lost a parent and struggle with grief or couples who have spent years trying to conceive and considered adoption, some very raw emotions here will be relatable and possibly cathartic. But the key word here is "raw," and many of the scenes are very intense depictions of grief and soul-searching questioning of faith and purpose that are difficult for anyone to watch, much less children. Parents should watch with guidance and caution and be prepared for some big tearjerker scenes that could be triggering; kids may need a lot of reassurance and discussion.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the girls were left to raise themselves. Do you agree with what their mother did? Why, or why not? What else could she have done?
Families come in many shapes and sizes. What are some different kinds of families you know?
How does the movie answer the girls' questions about why bad things happen to good people?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.