Ruby's Choice

image for Ruby's Choice

Short takes

Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 15 (themes, lack of interest for younger viewers)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ruby's Choice
  • a review of Ruby's Choice completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 March 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to themes and potential lack of interest.
Children aged 13–15 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and potential lack of interest.
Children over the age of 15 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: Ruby's Choice
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, violence and coarse language
Length: 116 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Tash (Coco Jack Gillies) is a teenager who lives with her parents, Sharon (Jacqueline McKenzie) and Doug (Stephen Hunter). Life is not all good at home as her parents struggle to make ends meet but things take a turn for the worse when her grandmother, Ruby (Jane Seymour), comes to live with them. Ruby has dementia and is becoming increasingly confused and frightened. To complicate matters more, Tash’s obnoxious cousin Ned and his Dad move in, as Ned’s parents are going through a divorce. Much to her annoyance, Tash has to share her bedroom with her grandma to make room for the burgeoning family.

Tash goes from resenting her grandmother to becoming very close to her, discovering things about her past that even her mother didn’t know. Eventually the time comes for Ruby to move into a nursing home, and she wants to be the one to make the choice as to where she goes.

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.

Aging; Dementia; Family breakdown; Adversity.

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:

  • Doug threatens to ‘punch the piss’ out of someone.
  • School bullies threaten Tash and another boy.
  • Ned comes to Tash’s school and joins the bullies. He then joins in teasing and taunting Tash. He pulls her hair and pushes her friend.
  • Sharon says to Tash that if she gets dementia like her Mum, to shoot her.
  • A group of boys take Ruby’s umbrella and throw it about, while Ruby tries to retrieve it from them.

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:

  • Nothing particularly scary for this age group.

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.

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 aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Ruby is often confused and scared. She forgets things constantly and accidentally sets her house on fire.
  • Ruby overfeeds Tash’s pet goldfish which dies. She also lets her parrot out of the cage which then flies away. Tash is distraught when she comes home from school to find the goldfish dead and the parrot gone.

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 scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Ruby believes her husband Frank, who died 8 years ago, is still alive. She often mistakes Tash for Frank during the night. She weeps about the loss of a child and for not being able to give Frank a family.
  • At one point Tash tells Ruby that Frank is dead which makes Ruby extremely upset.
  • Sharon makes Tash stay home from school to look after Ruby for a month while they work out what to do. Neither Sharon nor Doug can afford to take time off work.
  • Ruby pees her pants.
  • Doug gets retrenched.
  • Ned’s parents get a divorce.
  • Ruby eventually dies and the family gather for the funeral.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Holden Monaro and Torana.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

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

  • Ruby drinks wine.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Damn
  • Jesus
  • Blasted
  • Piss
  • Shit
  • God
  • Flaming
  • Fricking
  • Some name calling such as:
    • Loser
    • Shithead
    • Douchebag.

In a nutshell

Ruby’s Choice is a drama about the complexities of family life, ranging from teenage problems to getting old and suffering from dementia. The film depicts the problems most families have to encounter, such as financial problems and the inability of some marriages to last. It is rather sad in many aspects but does show that families are there for each other, through thick and thin. Due to its content, Ruby’s Choice is mainly aimed at older teens and adults and is therefore not recommended for under 13’s.

The main messages from this movie are that families support each other, and that love can triumph over most disasters.

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

  • Caring for older relatives
  • Standing up to bullies
  • Forgiveness
  • Redemption.

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 Ned behave so badly towards Trish? Was he acting out because his parents were going through a divorce?