A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Moving toward acceptance can help you live more in the present moment. Sometimes relationships change, and creating a new relationship can be better than clinging on to the past. You can still find happiness, even if it looks different to how you expected. Show as much empathy toward yourself as you do toward others.
Positive Role Models
Both Sarah and Toni show great love for their partners and attempt to give them the best life possible, even at to the detriment of their own health. But, in trying to keep things the same, they potentially fail to realize that change could be helpful for all of them. Gwen shows kindness to Toni, but shuts her out when she struggles. She helps Joe at the center and shows empathy for his experience. Joe gets confused, which can make him frustrated, scared and angry, but he is also sweet and well-meaning, particularly around his niece. Dr. Falmer appears cold at times, with a tough-love attitude, but wants what is best for her patients. There are hints she has personal experiences that sit heavily with her, and coldness and jokes are her coping mechanism.
One of the two main couples is lesbian. Two characters have brain injuries that result in forms of memory loss. They experience this very differently, which shows a breadth of representation. A receptionist has a wheelchair and is not seen to be hindered in her job, portrayed as independent with a strong personality. The main couples are White, but the medical center's lead physician, Dr. Falmer, is a central character of South Asian decent and carer Moses is Black, offering some ethnic diversity. A joke about keeping an "unfortunate" redheaded child in the basement plays into bullying stereotypes.
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Violence & Scariness
Mention of tumor and stroke. Reference to road accident. Characters seen in psychological distress.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Sexual references. Implication sex has taken place, with a character naked beneath sheets.
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Language includes numerous instances of "f--k," as well as "bitch," "piss," "bloody," "ass" and "hell." "Christ" is used as an exclamation, The British slang term "shag" (meaning sex) is also used.
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Products & Purchases
Apple MacBook computer used by character.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol on a number of occasions. One instance sees a character drunk and dancing alone. Passing mention of alcohol poisoning. Characters also smoke cigarettes. Medicinal pills taken.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Almond and the Seahorse is a powerful, touching drama, with some distressing scenes alongside moments of light relief. The film stars Rebel Wilson and Charlotte Gainsbourg and centers on characters who have experienced traumatic brain injuries resulting in different forms of memory loss, and how this changes their daily lives with loved ones over the years. There are scenes of characters in distress, as well as drinking and smoking, kissing, and sexual references. Strong language includes "f--k" and "bitch." Based on a play of the same name, the film portrays one couple as lesbian, which is a change from the original source material, and there is some ethnic diversity among the main doctor and staff at the medical center. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A powerful adaptation of a widely lauded play, this drama paints a multilayered picture of the experience of two couples dealing with the results of traumatic brain injury and memory loss. The title, The Almond And The Seahorse, refers to the parts of the brain that help make new memories, which is explained in part by Wilson's character as she makes a tape for her husband, hoping that repetition could help form new memories. It's a natural way to incorporate explanation that doesn't feel clunky, and lets the viewer in on some of the inner workings that we might grapple with otherwise.
Both Wilson -- in a rare dramatic role -- and Gainsbourg give strong performances as the partners of people they increasingly struggle to recognize or be recognized by. There's as much depth to their side of the experience as there is to Dyrholm and Jones, who portray widely different struggles, both of which alienate them from the people they love and the world around them. The music is carefully chosen, if a bit on the nose at times, with lyrics like "waiting for my time, hiding in the shadows," feeling a bit glib in a movie that avoids over-sentimentality on the whole. Change takes place without magical solution, because what is the magical solution in situations as complex as these? Instead, the film finds a place of acceptance and empathy -- toward self as much as others -- which feels like just as a powerful a journey.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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