A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Showing kindness to others. Dealing with setbacks.
Positive Role Models
Konrad is good natured and affectionate but has difficulty looking after himself as his suspected Alzheimer's worsens. Some members of the family for whom he works for offer him support. But others are insensitive and impatient about his condition. Other characters in the family lie in an attempt to hide their secrets.
There is some gender balance, but the cast are predominantly White and European, with only a small amount of ethnic diversity. More than one language spoken. Konrad's condition results in some discussion of supporting well-being.
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Violence & Scariness
Minor altercations and resistance result in some peril. Faces slapped, causing some bleeding. A character is living with dementia and is shown confused and behaving erratically.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple lie on a bed, kiss and pet over clothes. Sex noises heard off-camera.
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Language used includes insensitive terms about mental health, including "off his trolley" and "needs locking up."
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Products & Purchases
Some characters are wealthy and attend formal functions in lavish surroundings. Many have expensive possessions and clothes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes at social gatherings and at home. Reference to drinking to excess.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Small World is a French drama, with English subtitles, about a handyman living with Alzheimer's, which results in childhood flashbacks and the revealing of long-kept secrets. Smoking is portrayed and characters are seen consuming alcohol, although drinking to excess is only referenced, not shown. Gerard Depardieu plays Konrad, whose illness leads to increasingly erratic behavior with characters reacting differently to his condition. Thomas (Niels Arestrup), the head of the wealthy family that Konrad works for, quickly becomes frustrated and intolerant of Konrad. However, Thomas' soon to be daughter-in-law, Simone (Alexandra Maria Lara), cares for Konrad and shows him empathy and compassion. Konrad himself is a sympathetic character but not a role model as such, because despite his kindly nature and because of his condition he increasingly lacks self-awareness. Konrad endangers himself on more than one occasion and becomes distressed in others, leading to a minor struggle and some peril. There is also one scene where a character's face is slapped and it causes a small nosebleed. The main family's wealth is reflected in their lifestyle -- characters attend and host lavish events, and are shown with expensive items. Sex is alluded to and heard rather than shown, with some on-screen kissing. There is no swearing, but dementia is stigmatized by some characters who refer to Konrad's condition using non-inclusive language. The movie is adapted from a book and also goes by its original title Je n'ai rien oublié. 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 limp French family drama has good intentions, but fails to make the most of its talented cast. Small World is a slow-paced examination of how an outsider's worsening dementia slowly reveals some long-buried secrets. But one of the film's biggest problems is that it's never entirely clear how much Depardieu's Konrad has regressed to a child-like state because of his condition or how much of his nature has always been both simple and taken advantage of by his wealthy employers. This results in leaving far more questions than answers.
Alexandra Maria Lara's Simone helps peel back some of the layers. But the finale is fairly tame and her would-be in-laws are all so entitled and underdeveloped that it's difficult to invest in their lives, or care what happens to them. Small World can be commended for taking a sensitive approach to the distress declining health causes both its sufferers and those closest to them. But it has none of the mastery that The Father and other movies have shown in dealing with the same subject matter.
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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.
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