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Parents' Guide to

The Almond and the Seahorse

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Powerful adaptation has distressing scenes, strong language.

Movie NR 2022 96 minutes
The Almond and the Seahorse movie poster

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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.

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