Australian Council on Children and the Media

Looking for Grace

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Not recommended under 13, parental guidance recommended 13 to 15 (Adult themes; Coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Looking for Grace
  • a review of Looking for Grace completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 January 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to adult themes and coarse language
Children aged 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes
Children aged 15 and over OK for this age group

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: Looking for Grace
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes and coarse language
Length 101 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Grace (Odessa Young) and her friend Sappho (Kenya Pearson) take a bus trip from Perth to Ceduna in South Australia, reportedly to see a death metal band. They leave home without telling their parents and having stolen thousands of dollars from Grace’s parents’ safe. Along the way a young guy Jamie (Harry Richardson) gets on the bus and the three make friends straight away. Grace and Jamie are attracted to each other and Sappho therefore, gets left out. She decides to go home and Grace and Jamie spend a night in a motel. Jamie, however, leaves early in the morning, taking Grace’s money with him.

Grace is now alone, without any money and scared. She sets off along the road by herself. Meanwhile her parents Denise (Radha Mitchell) and Dan (Richard Roxburgh) hire a retired private detective, Tom, (Terry Norris) to help them find her.  They eventually do find her along the road but during the journey much becomes evident about their own relationship.

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.

Runaway teens; relationships; infidelity

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.

There is little violence in this movie but one of the main characters is hit by a double semi-trailer. Nothing is shown, just the sound of the crash and everyone running to the scene.

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.

Nothing else of concern

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.

When Grace is on her own she finds an isolated garage in which there is a car. She gets inside it to sleep but constantly hears noises in the night and is obviously afraid.

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.

  • Tom has an epileptic fit in bed, which is quite disturbing.
  • The final scene after a character is hit by the semi-trailer is quite drawn out. Waiting at the hospital for news, then following the ambulance to Perth. Along the way the ambulance pulls over and turns its lights off as the person has obviously died.

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.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Golden Gaytime
  • Drumsticks
  • Cornetto
  • Kit Kats
  • Coca-Cola

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Playing a game on the bus, one of the girls says her Mother has big tits. Another says she’s never slept with a boy.
  • A friend of Denise’s speculates that Grace might have been raped or murdered.
  • Denise tells Grace that she had a baby at 17, which she gave up for adoption. She’s never told Dan.
  • Dan and a woman go to a hotel room to have sex but Dan is too overcome by guilt. They kiss and ‘try to do it’ but it doesn’t happen.
  • Tom tells Dan that his sister is a lesbian.
  • Tom and Dan talk about being unfaithful to their wives and that they’ve both tried but failed due to guilt. Dan says he can’t stop thinking about sex.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Grace and Jamie are seen sitting on a bed in a motel room. They kiss and Jamie removes Grace’s top. She is only seen nude from the back. Sex is implied as they sleep together that night.
  • Tom pinches his wife’s bottom and pushes her onto the bed but she is not in the mood.
  • Dan and a woman kiss passionately and try to have sex but Dan isn’t able to due to feeling guilty.

Use of substances

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

  • Drinking of wine at dinner.
  • Tom and Dan smoke.

Coarse language

There is quite a lot of coarse language in this movie, including:

  • fuck
  • shit
  • damn
  • Jesus
  • bloody

In a nutshell

Looking for Grace is a long drawn out melodrama. It is interesting in that it is told from several different perspectives but is the same story repeated several times. The content makes it more suitable for older teens and the story raises some interesting discussion points, but it may not hold the attention of many teenage viewers.

The main messages from this movie are that life is often complex and that things aren’t always as they seem.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • The consequences of one’s actions can often be far-reaching and irreversible.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Why did Grace run off in the first place without telling her parents?
  • Grace believed the money she stole was just as much hers as her parents. Is this true?

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