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"WAKING THE DEAD"
(2000) (Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Moderate Mild Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Mild None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Minor Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A man running for Congress finds himself haunted by visions and sightings of his girlfriend who supposedly died a decade earlier.
PLOT:
It's the early '80s and Fielding Pierce (BILLY CRUDUP) is an up and coming attorney in the DA's office in Chicago. With a beautiful girlfriend, Juliet Beck (MOLLY PARKER), the support of her uncle and his longtime mentor, Isaac Green (HAL HALBROOK), and the backing of the governor, Fielding seems to be on his way to achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a politician.

With the election for an open Congressional seat approaching, Fielding seems to have things wrapped up except for one small problem - he's seeing his old girlfriend, Sarah Williams (JENNIFER CONNELLY). That's not to say that he's cheating on Juliet, but rather that he's seeing or having visions of Sarah who reportedly died a decade earlier in a car bombing.

As the election draws near, we witness flashbacks to the dramatic arc of Fielding and Sarah's passionate romance, from first meeting when she worked for his brother, Danny (PAUL HIPP) up through strains on their relationship due to their political and sociological differences. From that point on, Fielding tries to figure out - with the help of his sister, Caroline (JANET McTEER) - whether he's going crazy or perhaps that Sarah's really still alive.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BILLY CRUDUP plays an ambitious lawyer who's close to realizing his dream of becoming a politician. Unfortunately, his visions and/or sighting of his long-dead girlfriend begin to mess with his mind. During the past and present, he uses strong profanity and he has sex with two women (separately).
  • JENNIFER CONNELLY plays Fielding's presumably long-dead girlfriend. In flashbacks, we see that she's something of a radical activist who openly speaks her mind, uses some strong profanity and has sex with Fielding.
  • PAUL HIPP plays Fielding's opportunist brother who wants Fielding to use his political connections to help get a woman her green card.
  • MOLLY PARKER plays Fielding's current girlfriend who has sex with him.
  • HAL HOLBROOK plays Fielding's mentor who isn't crazy about Sarah since she doesn't "play nice" with others and thus risks ruining Fielding's political aspirations.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is rated as extreme due to at least 27 uses of the "f" word, while other profanities and some colorful phrases are also used. Several sexual encounters are seen (with others implied) that include related movement (in various positions), sounds and some brief nudity, while some female masturbation is implied.

    Some characters drink and smoke, while the protagonist's brother may smoke a joint in a flashback. Violence consists of the protagonist's brief encounter with a thief who punches him and an off-camera car bombing (that occurred in the past). In addition, and although it's not played for supernatural thrills and chills, the protagonist appears to have visions or sightings of his previous girlfriend who was presumably killed in that car bombing.

    Beyond that and some bad attitudes, the rest of the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Nonetheless and as always, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for more specific information.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Danny may be smoking a joint in his office as we see Fielding trying to draw the smoke into his nose with his hand.
  • Isaac and another man have drinks.
  • We see some wine in front of a fireplace (along with Sarah and Fielding).
  • Fielding has a drink on an airplane.
  • Some people have drinks at a bar.
  • People have drinks at a reception in the present and the past.
  • Fielding has a drink.
  • People have drinks at another reception.
  • Danny and Fielding have some champagne, while Caroline holds a drink.
  • We see Fielding drinking from a bottle and then pouring some of the liquor into a glass.
  • People have beer while waiting for the election results.
  • People have wine with dinner.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear Danny vomiting.
  • After being punched, Fielding spits out some blood and we then see some blood on his shirt.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some may see Sarah as having both for telling Fielding that if he were sent over to Vietnam (during the war), he'd be shot at by the people she wanted to win (and that she doesn't want to have to choose who to root for).
  • Danny wants Fielding to use his political influence/connections to help Danny's girlfriend get a green card.
  • Some may see Sarah's inclination to speak her mind to those she disagrees with at receptions (instead of being polite) as having some of both types of attitudes.
  • A thief punches Fielding and robs him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • As a little bit of spooky music plays, Fielding thinks that he hears Sarah's voice at night (years after she's been dead).
  • Accompanied again by more spooky music, Fielding has more visions of Sarah.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Car bomb: Not seen in use, but we see the aftermath on a TV report and hear that it killed two people.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Get the f*ck out of here," "Go f*ck yourself," "F*ck up," "Fag," "Whore," "Balls" (testicles), "Horny" (sexual), "Screwed" (nonsexual), "Tight ass" and "Sucker."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A few scenes have a mild amount of ominous/spooky music in them.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 27 "f" words, 9 "s" words, 3 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 damn, 6 uses of "G-damn," 3 each of "Jesus" and "Oh God," 2 of "God" and 1 use of "My God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • After Sarah tells Fielding to come up to her place, we then see her under the covers the next morning as he's getting dressed (no nudity), thus implying that they had sex (or at least fooled around).
  • As we hear Sarah's voice (in voice over) as she reads a letter, we see her in bed and it appears that she might be masturbating (she's moving around and her hand appears to be down between her legs but nothing explicit is seen). We then continue to hear her talking where she mentions falling in bed and "you're inside me."
  • We see Sarah and Fielding lying nude (facing each other) in front of a fire (and see the side of a bare hip/butt).
  • In the present, we see Fielding in his underwear and then later see his girlfriend on top of him, having sex with movement and sounds and her caressing her clothed breasts. He then grabs and gets on top of her and in a head and shoulders shot we see more movement and hear her rhythmic sounds (as well as another comment of "you were inside me").
  • We see Sarah in her underwear.
  • Fielding sees a vision of Sarah sitting on his bed nude, with her knees pulled up to her chest (thus no explicit nudity is seen).
  • We see quick shots (some of the head and shoulder variety) of Fielding having sex with a woman that include movement, sounds, views of her bare breasts, and various positions (him behind her, she on top of him, missionary etc.).
  • Fielding arrives at home and announces, "I'm home and I'm horny."
  • Sarah and Fielding kiss and he puts his hand up beneath her shirt and feels her breast, but they then stop and nothing else happens.
  • SMOKING
  • Danny and Isaac (cigar) smoke once, while some miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Fielding and Danny have some tense brotherly moments.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether Fielding was just having visions of Sarah or the presumably dead girlfriend was still alive.
  • Running for political office.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Although we don't see the actual event (but do see the aftermath on a TV report), we hear that a car bomb killed two people, presumably including Sarah.
  • A thief punches Fielding and he spits out some blood.



  • Reviewed February 25, 2000 / Posted March 24, 2000

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