Parents' Guide to

The World to Come

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Women find love amid isolation in mature period drama.

Movie R 2021 105 minutes
The World to Come Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

The love that grows between Abigail and Tallie is the kind of love we all hope for, regardless of our gender or sexual identity -- which is one of the small miracles of this film. To call The World to Come a "lesbian period romance" would be an oversimplification. Abigail and Tallie don't live in a world where someone would fall in love with a member of their own sex -- the feelings they develop don't have any context or precedent. And so they don't feel like a same-sex relationship is taboo; instead, it's revelatory. As Abigail says, once the friends step over that line and admit their feelings, the adrenaline rush of knowing what it's like to love, be loved, be seen, and be appreciated can only be expressed as "astonishment and joy." They're truly soulmates, and for LGBTQ+ teens, their story may provide rewarding validation.

The movie's other small miracle is how it transports viewers back to mid-1800s rural life. The elaborate production design is flawless, with painstaking accuracy in wardrobe, buildings, carts, and outdoor settings combining to establish the visual construct of a 19th century pioneering community. The way the characters speak -- both in their manner and in the matters they speak about -- also helps create this specific world, which makes viewers feel like they really understand what it would be like to be living there and then. That said, the characters' old-fashioned speech is both poetic and somewhat obtuse, creating a wall that some teens may not want to bother climbing. Combined with the quiet monotone voice-over that connects the scenes, Abigail and Tallie's story doesn't always feel as exciting as it is -- but it's worth sticking with for the wonder it projects onto how we would fare in such times and circumstances.

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