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Not suitable under 13; parental guidance recommended to 15 (themes, sexual references and substance abuse)
This topic contains:
|Children under 13||Not suitable due to themes of suicide, bullying and mental illness, sexual references and substance abuse.|
|Children aged 13-14||Parental guidance recommended due to themes of suicide, bullying and mental illness.|
|Children aged 15 and over||Ok for this age group.|
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:||Mary and Max|
|Consumer advice lines:||Mild themes and sexual references|
This review of the movie contains the following information:
The year is 1976, and Mary Daisy Dinkle (voice of Bethany Whitmore) is an unloved eight-year-old girl, who lives in the Melbourne suburb of Mount Waverly. Mary, who wears thick glasses, has eyes the “colour of muddy puddles” and has a birthmark “the colour of poo” on her forehead, is constantly bullied at school and her only friend is a pet rooster named Ethel. Mary’s mother is an alcoholic chain-smoking shoplifter, and her father works in a factory attaching strings to teabags. His hobby is taxidermy and he pays Mary no attention at all.
Mary is a little confused about where babies come from and one day while in a post office, rips a page from an American phone book, picks a name at random and writes to that person asking them where babies come from. The name Mary picks is Max Jerry Horowitz (voice of Phillip Seymour Hoffman), an overweight forty four-year-old Jewish man, who lives in New York and suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. Max lives a very ordered life. He suffers from severe panic attacks when confronted by anything new, doesn’t understand verbal signals, has an imaginary friend named Mr. Ravioli, keeps a pet fish, has a fondness for chocolate and regularly sees his psychologist.
Mary includes a chocolate bar with her letter and Max writes back, telling Mary much of his life’s history, although his understanding of where babies comes from is just as confused as hers. As the years pass, their letter writing continues and their friendship grows.
When Mary is a young woman (voice of Toni Collette) her father dies and leaves her some money which she uses to go to university to study diseases of the mind. She marries the Greek boy next door, Damian Popodopolous (Eric Bana). Mary wants to cure the world of mental illness and writes a book about Max and the unintended consequences of this book have a major affect on Mary’s life
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.
Asperger’s syndrome; bullying; mental illness; suicide
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 low-level violence, slapstick violence and bullying in this movie including:
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 and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under five, including the following:
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.
The above mentioned violent scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children in this age group.
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 scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:
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 may also be disturbed by some of the themes and scenes in this film, including bullying, mental illness and suicide
None of concern
The film contains a number of sexual references throughout.
There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:
There is some use of substances in this movie, including:
No coarse language of concern, but putdowns including “poo face” and “wog”
Mary and Max, based on a true story, is a dark animated adult comedy about childhood, relationships, and social and mental health issues. The greater part of the story is presented through narration (voice of Barry Humphries).
The film is deeply moving, with the darkness of the comedy at times making it shocking rather than humorous. The serious themes make it a film for adults and older adolescents. The main messages from this movie are:
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with older children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as
Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The
Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.
Content is age appropriate for children this age
Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended
Content is not age appropriate for children this age