Australian Council on Children and the Media

City of Your Final Destination

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Not recommended under 12, PG to 15 due to themes and sexual references

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for City of Your Final Destination
  • a review of City of Your Final Destination completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 October 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to themes and sexual references.
Children aged 12-15 Parental guidance due to themes and sexual references.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: City of Your Final Destination
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length 118 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Omar Razaghi (Omar Metwally) is a Kansas University doctoral student who has a grant to write the biography of Jules Gund - a Latin American author of some fame who committed suicide. Omar’s academic and financial future depend on him writing the biography, but the executors of Gund’s estate, his brother Adam (Anthony Hopkins), widow Caroline (Laura Linney) and mistress Arden Langdon (Charlotte Gainsbourg) have refused permission.

Urged on by his strong willed girlfriend Deirdre (Alexandra Maria Lara), Omar travels to Gund’s large but dilapidated estate in Uruguay in hope of convincing the executors to change their minds. Once in Uruguay, he encounters unexpected adventures and life changing events.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Relationships; a homosexual relationship between an adult man and a boy; suicide

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The City of Your Final Destination contains infrequent violence. Examples include:

  • An account of finding a man’s body after he committed suicide by blowing the top of his head off with a gun. 
  • A woman recounts an imagined scene where one woman drowns another by repeatedly pushing her under water with an oar. We see images of this happening.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight, including the following:

  • Omar falls into quicksand but escapes, losing his shoe. He later tells his girlfriend that he almost drowned and saw his life flash before him.
  • Omar falls from the top of a tall ladder after being stung by bees and lies unconscious on the ground. We then see him lying in a coma in a hospital bed.
  • A man talks about how his parents died in a plane crash.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

No additional scenes of concern

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

No additional scenes of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Apple laptop computer

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Reference is made to Jules Gund living with both his wife and his mistress in the same house, and fathering a daughter to his mistress.
  • Discussion of the relationship between Adam and Pete suggests that Adam took Pete to England as a young boy and adopted him as his son so that they could stay together. Adam now fears that his younger lover may leave him after a relationship of almost 25 years   
  • Arden tells Deirdre that she lied to a doctor about Omar being her boyfriend, and that she did so because Argentinean males view relationships between men and woman in romantic terms. 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including: 

  • Omar passionately kisses Arden on the lips.
  • Pete lies naked in bed next to Adam who is clothed.
  • Woman wear low cut tops or bathing suits.
  • In a couple of scenes we see Adam kissing Pete on the lips.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Women smoking cigarettes and in one scene a woman smokes a cigar.
  • People drink champagne early in the day and a woman remarks on this
  • Caroline makes a cocktail for herself and Adam
  • Caroline, Adam and Omar drink Scotch.   

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

City of Your Final Destination is a romantic drama, based on a novel by Peter Cameron, with a strong cast. It is a long and slow moving film and may lack interest for children.  Its themes make it unsuitable for children under 12.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • Love is a powerful emotion capable of changing lives. It causes people to reassess what is important and meaningful in their life.
  • Life may always be subject to chaos or chaotic intervention.

Values that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include love and selflessness. Both Adam and Pete demonstrated love and selflessness by placing each other’s welfare and happiness above their own personal needs. Omar discovered that his love for Arden was more important than his career and financial security and sacrificed both in order to be with her.

Parents may also wish to discuss the questions raised by the long term relationship between Adam and the much younger Pete which appears to have started when Pete was a boy.

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