Australian Council on Children and the Media

Georgia Rule

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Not recommended under 15 (Themes, Sexual references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Georgia Rule
  • a review of Georgia Rule completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 May 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not recommended 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: Georgia Rule
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Moderate themes; Moderate sexual references; Moderate course language
Length 112 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Rachel Wilcox (Lindsay Lohan) is a disturbed, confused and sexually precocious teenager. Her mother, Lilly (Felicity Huffman) is unable to cope with her. Lilly, herself a rebellious teenager who rejected her strictly religious upbringing, is now dependent on alcohol. She decides that maybe her mother Georgia (Jane Fonda) might be able to help and so takes Rachel to Idaho to leave her there.
Rachel’s San Francisco upbringing has not prepared her for life in small town Idaho which has a majority Mormon population. There she meets Harlan (Garrett Hedlund), a young Mormon man, whom she determines to educate in the ways of the world. She also meets, and goes to work for, the local vet Simon (Dermot Mulroney), who has recently lost a wife and child in a car accident. It is to Simon that Rachel confides that her stepfather has been sexually abusing her since the age of 12. Simon of course informs Georgia, who then has to try to sort out not only Rachel’s disrupted life, but also her daughter Lilly’s as well.

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.

Sexual abuse of minors, dysfunctional families

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 some violence in this movie including:

  • Lilly and Rachel verbally fight
  • Rachel fights with a young boy, Sam
  • Georgia has to restrain Lilly when she’s in a drunken state
  • Local girls throw toilet rolls at Rachel
  • Rachel verbally taunts and shouts at girls
  • Georgia hits Arnold (Lilly’s husband) with a baseball bat

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.

Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the above scenes.

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.

Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the above scenes.

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.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could disturb children under thirteen, including the following:

  • the sexual abuse of Rachel by her step-father is discussed,
  • the conflict between mother and daughter (of both generations)
  • Lilly in a drunken state, comes out of the house in underwear and dressing gown, which she loses in a fight with Georgia. Nothing is shown on screen but the incident happens in front of two young boys who go to her aid.
  • Rachel’s sexually precocious manner

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.

The above mentioned violent scenes could disturb children under fifteen.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are many sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Sam (aged about 12) gets talks about getting ‘hard’ while he’s fighting with Rachel.
  • Rachel tells Simon that she was 12 years old when her stepfather first had sex with her.
  • Rachel tells local girls that she’s going to “fuck all their boyfriends stupid”.
  • Rachel tries to seduce Simon, getting into bed with him at one stage, but he consistently refuses to have sex with her.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Rachel is always provocatively dressed in skimpy and revealing clothing.
  • Rachel takes her knickers off, spreads her legs and tells Harlen he can look and touch if he likes. She then undoes his jeans and while it is not shown, it is later revealed that she gives him oral sex.
  • Lilly and Arnold are shown passionately making love in bed
  • Lilly is shown from a rear view in only her knickers

Use of substances

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

  • Discussion about Rachel taking LSD and crack in 9th grade.
  • Lilly is always drinking and shown in a drunken, angry state.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Frequent use of the word ‘fuck’.
  • Bastard
  • Shit
  • Bullshit
  • Oh my God!

In a nutshell

Georgia Rule is a serious drama that shows the destructive effect that alcohol and sexual abuse can have on people’s lives.

This movie could give parents the opportunity to discuss with older children the destructive effects of alcohol abuse and attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexuality.

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