A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Tries to destigmatize some of the less glamorous elements of being a woman. Shows that connections can be found in unexpected places.
Positive Role Models
Diverse, nonstereotypical characters represent a range of races, sexual identities, and classes. Jace is an understanding, present boyfriend who expresses his emotions. Bridget is meant to be more relatable than aspirational.
Violence & Scariness
A character has a medicinal abortion; there's quite a bit of blood. A couple mentions of suicide attempts. A glib description of imagined violence involving a baby.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Bridget has sex with men she's just or just recently met. Very frank sexual conversations, including graphic content around "period sex." Bridget doesn't use birth control other than the rhythm method.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"F--k" is used sporadically; other strong language includes "cum," "boob," "hell," "pissed," "s--t." "Jesus!" is used as a exclamation.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Bridget buys Tampax and Cookie Crisp cereal.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink wine and beer in social situations; sometimes sex follows. After a brave moment, a character exclaims that she needs some wine.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Saint Frances is a coming-of-age drama about a 34-year-old feminist slacker (Kelly O'Sullivan) who chooses to have a medicinal abortion while working as a nanny. It's staunchly pro-choice and doesn't shy away from addressing the bloody results of a termination: Characters examine a bulkier clot and wonder whether it was the zygote. That's not directly shown to viewers, but plenty of menstrual blood is, perhaps in an effort to destigmatize how women's bodies function. Really, the whole film is about removing the shame that's sometimes connected to womanhood and motherhood in the form of postpartum depression, breastfeeding, periods, incontinence, and sex. While characters speak bluntly about sex (using words including "cum" and "f--k"), those conversations are mostly about partners communicating, including addressing a resistance to using condoms. As the title suggests, the movie deals with religion -- specifically, the Catholicism that Bridget has turned away from but that the family she works for embraces. The film is ultimately about promoting choice that goes beyond terminating a pregnancy: It's about having the choice to be yourself, to love who you want when you want, to pursue your dreams on your own schedule, and to start a family when you're ready. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This film festival award winner feels less like a movie than a Woke Checklist for Millennials. Abortion, breastfeeding in public, geriatric pregnancy, same-sex interracial marriage, queer parenting, postpartum depression, conflict resolution, and men who write in "emotions journals": It's the cinematic equivalent of a Prius with a Co-Exist bumper sticker in a Whole Foods parking lot. While Saint Frances has some admirable goals -- i.e., trying to remove negative attitudes about the way nature affects women's bodies -- it pushes its agenda as if daring viewers to show any discomfort.
It all might go down a bit easier if Bridget was a tad more likable -- flawed is one thing, abrasively blah is another. It's always tough to care about a character who doesn't care about herself and is careless with others. As we all do, Bridget grows through the influence of the well-drawn characters around her: precocious Frances (newcomer Williams is surely some kind of acting savant), overwhelmed mother Maya (Charin Alvarez), and supportively sweet Jace. He's a remarkable flip on how men are "expected" to behave: He's not only not grossed out when Bridget's period starts during sex, but he contributes to the cleanup and he stays with her through the day she has the abortion, experiencing it with her as much as possible. On the other hand, some of the movie's details seem, as the kids say, a bit "extra": self-righteous white women, protest yard signs, and "no sugar" directives. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar score that might go on to a future life as "hold" music, Saint Frances is like a modern-day adult version of what Gen X knew as "Free to Be You and Me."
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.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Movies with Strong Female Characters
Positive Role Model TV for Teen Girls
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.See how we rate