image for Scoop

Short takes

Not recommended to children under 8, PG to 15 (Sex, themes).

classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Scoop
  • a review of Scoop completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 March 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended
Children aged 8-15 Parental guidance 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Scoop
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references
Length: 95 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Sondra Pronsky (Scarlett Johansson) is an American  journalism student on holiday in London with her friend Vivian (Romola Garai). On a trip to the theatre to see Sid Waterman (Woody Allen) perform a magic show Sondra has an unlikely encounter with recently deceased Joe Strombel (Ian McShane). Joe was a renowned journalist famed for getting the latest ‘scoop’ and he’s returned to tell Sondra that Peter Lyman, (Hugh Jackman) son of Lord Lyman, is in fact the ‘Tarot Card Killer’. This killer has murdered a series of  prostitutes, but left a clue at the latest murder. His secretary, who is also now dead, discovered the clue and has now passed the information to Joe. Sondra, of course, finds this hard to believe but with the help of Waterman, who poses as her father, sets out to find the truth.
Sondra manages to set up a meeting with Peter Lyman who is instantly attracted to the beautiful young woman and dazzles her with his charm and good fortune. Sondra falls in love with Lyman and is very relieved when someone else is arrested for the murders. However, not all is at seems and Sondra finds herself in great danger.


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.

Murder; life after death

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:

  • Talk of women being murdered (nothing actually shown)
  • Sid dies in a car crash, again not actually shown.
  • Peter pushes Sondra into the lake to drown her

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:

  • There are scenes of the grim reaper standing with a group of ‘dead’ people who seem to be on a ship in the ocean with swirling mists.
  • Joe Strombel, who is dead, appears to Sondra on several occasions and fades away when he leaves.
  • Peter tries to kill Sondra.

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 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.

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:

  • Some children in this age group may also be disturbed by the scenes of the grim reaper and ‘dead’ people although it is done in a comic fashion.
  • Peter trying to kill Sondra.

Thirteen and overinfo

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 this movie.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Walkers chips
  • Cobra beer

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Sondra goes to interview an actor called Michael Tinsley who plies her with alcohol. Vivian later asks her how the sex was but Sondra can’t remember because she was too drunk. Vivian says she wouldn’t mind a roll in the hay with Michael Tinsley.
  • Sid says Sondra has a problem with promiscuity.
  • Sid asks Sondra if she gained anything from her weekend other than the chance of pregnancy.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Sondra and Peter are shown kissing and sleeping together apparently naked but they are covered by sheets.

Use of substances

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

  • Alcohol is drunk at a number of different settings.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • God
  • Jesus
  • Bloody

In a nutshell

Scoop is a black comedy about life and death, which shows that reality isn’t always what it appears to be. The main message from this movie is not to be deceived by appearances.

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

  • the consequences of casual sex.
  • beliefs about life after death.