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Parents' Guide to

The Cat's Meow

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

This story about a possible murder isn't for kids.

Movie PG-13 2002 112 minutes
The Cat's Meow Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Peter Bogdanovich's movie is a loving recreation of a classic era for the film industry, with impeccable performances by Eddie Izzard as Charlie Chaplin. Izzard has one of the most difficult challenges an actor can face -- portraying someone whose face and manner are so well documented that they will be familiar to many viewers. Izzard evokes Chaplin; she does not impersonate him. And she gives us a portrait of Chaplin that is rich, complex, and intimate. We see the genius, the charm, the discipline in some things and lack of discipline in others, the neediness, and the self-awareness.

As sensational novelist Elinor Glyn, Joanna Lumley delivers devastating commentary with scrumptious bite, timed down to the nanosecond. Edward Hermann and Kirsten Dunst are also memorable. Bogdanovich's mistake is in thinking that everyone is naturally as fascinated with the story and the era as he is, and so he does not have to do any work to draw the audience into the story. For that reason, it all comes across as a little too precious and distant.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 12, 2002
  • On DVD or streaming: August 20, 2002
  • Cast: Eddie Izzard , Jennifer Tilly , Kirsten Dunst
  • Director: Peter Bogdanovich
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Asian actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 112 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: language, sexual references, and violence
  • Last updated: October 8, 2023

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