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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Deals largely with "fitting in" and belonging somewhere but also learning to be yourself. Since the "fits" aren't really explained, there's room for discussion/interpretation around what actually happened.
Positive Role Models
Toni seems strong, smart, and independent; she works hard for what she wants, even though she has her doubts about how she fits in. Two girls take dance uniforms from the gym office before they've been allowed to. No adults are shown/portrayed, except out-of-focus in the background
Violence & Scariness
Scenes of boxers practicing in the gym. Punching, some bloody noses, bloody mouth. Vomiting. Scenes of girls having unexplained "fits," i.e. seizures or fainting spells. An 11-year-old pierces her own ears.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Vague, background discussion between teen girls about a boyfriend; hints at a possible pregnancy.
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Uses of "bitch," "dang."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Fits is a low-budget indie drama that focuses on an 11-year-old girl. Although it tackles themes related to fitting in and doesn't have a lot of clearly iffy material, it's presented in a fairly grown-up way that makes it more appropriate for teens and up. It has a moody, dreamy feel and unsettling, unexplained elements -- i.e. the "fits" of the title, which refer to unexplained seizures and/or fainting spells that are startling and upsetting. There are also scenes set in a boxing gym in which boys punch each other, leading to bloody mouths and noses and vomiting. Language includes a use of "bitch," but otherwise nothing is stronger than "dang." A background conversation about a boyfriend possibly suggests a teen pregnancy, though nothing is overtly mentioned. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Coming out of Sundance, this fascinating low-budget drama features the kind of bold, skillful filmmaking that seems largely missing today; it offers a profound puzzle to ponder but no easy answers. Making her feature directing debut, Anna Rose Holmer uses industrialized locations (the gym, a crummy-looking apartment complex, an overpass, etc.), each meticulously framed, to set her mood. The weather is overcast, and it could be any city, at any time of year.
No adults are shown, except out-of-focus in the background, and Toni is often isolated in the frame. It's telling that the title, The Fits, uses a word that relates to both what the girls are going through and being unable to "fit" in. Only the unusual music indicates that something strange is going on; the fits themselves are simply "metaphors" and are up for interpretation. The overall effect is surprisingly complete; it's touching, emotional, thought-provoking, and visually satisfying, with an exemplary, star-making performance by newcomer Hightower.
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.