Parents' Guide to

The Looking Glass

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Moving coming-of-age tale has mature themes.

Movie NR 2015 110 minutes
The Looking Glass Poster Image

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Early scenes suggest that The Looking Glass may succumb to cliché, but soon the story of a troubled teen who opens up to her grandmother reveals a moving story about aging and coming of age. Karen is a woman much like Tristan, the actress who plays her and who wrote the script. Both had stage and movie careers mostly in the 1970s and then moved to rural Indiana to raise a family. Tristan's husband, John D. Hancock, an Oscar-nominated director, presides and much of the action is set in their home. Tarnow as Julie is subtle and poised, with a practiced singing voice that cuts through the air straight to a listener's heart. Karen may be overbearing at times, but her honesty and warmth make a connection with her grieving granddaughter.

However, for all her tough love and moral support, the grandmother's insistence that Julie is destined for a successful show-biz career seems unrealistic, not to mention potentially damaging, especially given that Julie has not articulated any ungovernable passion for performing. Still, teens are likely to be drawn to Julie's character and will find lots to think about and discuss.

Movie Details

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