Australian Council on Children and the Media

Nanny Diaries, The

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Not recommended under 13, PG to 15 (Themes, Sexual references and coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Nanny Diaries, The
  • a review of Nanny Diaries, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 October 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to themes, sexual references and coarse language
Children 13-15 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, sexual references and coarse language
Children over 15 OK without parental guidance

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: Nanny Diaries, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Infrequent moderate coarse language
Length 105 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson) has just graduated from college where she studied anthropology and is trying to find her place in the world. Her mother tries to persuade her to enter the business world but, by a strange set of coincidences, she takes a job as a nanny for a wealthy New York family whom she names the ‘X’s. Annie chooses to tell her mother that she’s taken a job in the city and is moving into an apartment there rather than tell her the truth that she’s actually living in a very small room and doing a menial job that she likes to think of as a field study.
Her charge is precocious and neglected Grayer (Nicholas Art).  She has to supply his every need and at the same time cater to all the demands of his mother, Mrs X. (Laura Linney). Annie soon finds out that life ‘on the other side’ is not all that wonderful and that money does not buy happiness. She discovers that Mrs. X, while appearing to be an overbearing, controlling and confident woman, is in fact a lonely, unloved and very unhappy person. Mr. X (Paul Giamatti), who controls all the wealth, is very remote and unfaithful to his wife. He even comes on to Annie.
To add to her problems, Annie falls in love with a young man whom she names ‘Harvard Hottie’ (Chris Evans) who lives in an apartment upstairs. Annie is forced to realise that she has to confront life rather than trying to hide from it.

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.

Class differences, 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:

  • Grayer kicks Annie in the shins, says he hates her and repeatedly hits her.
  • Grayer pulls Annie’s jeans down.
  • Grayer throws frequent temper tantrums.
  • Mr. and Mrs. X verbally fight on several occasions.

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 five, including the following:

  • Annie accidentally falls down some steps
  • A motor cyclist almost knocks Grayer down but Annie saves him
  • Grayer is pushed away by his father after he’s given him his couple of minutes ‘quality time’.
  • Grayer gets sick and is shown vomiting.
  • Mr. X gives Grayer a puppy and then makes Annie take it away because he can’t cope with it.
  • Annie is sent away and Grayer is very distraught, runs after the car, crying.
  • A woman is shown vomiting in a toilet.

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 may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned 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.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes

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

None of concern

Sexual references

There are several sexual references in this movie, including:

  • discussion about women being involved in sexual activities
  • discussion about lesbians
  • Grayer pulls Annie’s jeans down and she’s seen in her G-string, which is also noticed by ‘Harvard Hottie’
  • discussion about nannies being hot and ‘porno’

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Grayer and Annie walk into Mr. X’s office where he’s seen fondling a woman.
  • Annie dresses in skimpy clothing and dances provocatively.
  • Annie and Harvard Hottie kiss passionately and go into his apartment where she spends the night though nothing is shown.
  • Mr. X grabs Annie on the bottom.

Use of substances

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

  • Frequent drinking at home, in pubs, etc
  • Annie is shown drinking out of a bottle
  • Annie’s mother smokes

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Oh my God
  • Shit
  • Fucking
  • Screwed
  • Arse
  • Bastard

In a nutshell

The Nanny Diaries is a drama which shows some of the worst aspects of a class divided society.
The main messages from this movie are that children need love and time from a parent rather than a set of rigid rules which only satisfy their physical needs, and that money cannot buy happiness..
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of treating all people, including employees, with respect and dignity.

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