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"CHARLOTTE GRAY"
(2001) (Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A Scottish woman goes undercover with the French Resistance in hopes of finding her British lover who's been shot down over WWII France.
PLOT:
It's the 1940s and Charlotte Gray (CATE BLANCHETT) is a Scottish woman working in London who meets Peter Gregory (RUPERT PENRY-JONES), a dashing RAF pilot at a book signing party. One thing leads to another and the two are soon lovers, but Peter's leave is up and he must return to duty in France.

Months later, Charlotte waits for Peter to return, but instead receives news that he's been shot down but is alive somewhere in France. Accordingly, and due to her fluency in speaking French, she joins a covert British military operation, the Special Operations Executive, where she's to go undercover as a French citizen but serve as a courier for the French resistance movement in Vichy. Her real purpose, however, is to find Peter.

Sporting both a new hair color and name - she's now known as Dominique Ober - Charlotte parachutes into the lands where the local French government still runs the show, but is closely allied with the Nazis. There, she meets her British contact, Mirabel (RON COOK), as well as the French one, Julien Levade (BILLY CRUDUP), a communist heading up the local faction of the French resistance.

With her cover nearly blown during an exchange, Julien has Charlotte pose as the housekeeper for his gruff father, Levade (MICHAEL GAMBON), where she's to care for two young Jewish boys they've taken in after their parents have been deported. As things become increasingly precarious and volatile when German troops are brought into their territory and are assisted by a local teacher, Benech (ANTON LESSER), in rounding up other Jews, Charlotte does what she can to learn anything about Peter's situation, all while finding herself also being drawn to Julien.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or of wartime romantic dramas, it doesn't seem likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some war related violence, sensuality and brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CATE BLANCHETT plays a Scottish woman who goes undercover as a spy assisting the French resistance, all in hopes of finding a pilot with whom she had a brief sexual fling.
  • RUPERT PENRY-JONES plays an RAF pilot who has a fling with Charlotte while on leave from the war.
  • BILLY CRUDUP plays a French communist who leads a local faction of the resistance movement. He briefly uses strong profanity and ends up shooting one bad man dead.
  • MICHAEL GAMBON plays his gruff father who uses some profanity and eventually warms up to Charlotte living in his manor.
  • RON COOK plays Charlotte's covert British contact in France who serves as her liaison. He briefly uses strong profanity.
  • ANTON LESSER plays a local teacher who assists the Nazis in rounding up Jews for them.
  • 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:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this period war drama that's been rated PG-13. Violence consists of various people being shot to death (with some bloody results), an explosion that derails a train, and some people striking or threatening to shoot others. Some of those moments and others may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Profanity consists of at least 2 uses of the "f" word, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. An unmarried couple that's just met is seen in bed kissing and briefly fooling around (with off-screen sex implied), another couple feigns passion to distract a soldier, and a man briefly tries to fondle a clothed woman.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some characters drink and/or smoke, and tense family moments include two orphaned boys (whose Jewish parents have been deported), and an adult son and father who don't get along that well.

    Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you might want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present and occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Upon hearing that Charlotte has been invited to some literary event, a friend of hers equates books with booze.
  • Charlotte, her friends, and others have drinks at a literary event, but we then see Charlotte pouring hers out (commenting about warm gin). We then see Peter with a drink.
  • Julien pours wine for himself and Charlotte.
  • Levade pours wine for himself and Charlotte.
  • Some people drink wine.
  • A German guard drinks wine.
  • Some miscellaneous people drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A person's hands are bloody during a conflict.
  • We see Mirabel's urine stream as he relieves himself in an abandoned stairwell.
  • Charlotte looks at a black and white photo of a dead body in a tree, while we also see an aerial view of more bodies on the ground from another scene.
  • Julien shoots a bad man dead and the latter's blood splatters onto the woman with him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Nazis and those working with and/or for them obviously have both types of attitudes.
  • Levade initially has a gruff and surly attitude toward Charlotte.
  • Benech aims a gun at Charlotte and tells her to stop. He then tells her that if she'll be his "friend" (in a sexual manner), then the boys she's caring for will be safe. He then forces himself on her (while both are standing outdoors), kisses her, gropes her clothed breast, and tries to put his hand up her skirt. She then stops him and states that she'll do so tomorrow when she's clean (but that never happens).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • As Charlotte tries to deliver a package to another woman, soldiers come into the café where they're seated and ask to see their papers, eventually taking the other woman away.
  • Upon the arrival of German forces in their town, Julien goes out and starts yelling at the procession, eventually causing one soldier to aim his machine gun at him and nearly shoot him.
  • Julien runs to meet his friends who are awaiting another air drop at night in the woods, but then realizes that the Germans are lying in ambush. He then watches as the Germans open fire on them with machine guns, killing all of them (we don't see the impact, but we later see their bodies on the ground).
  • Thinking that Charlotte was responsible for his friends' deaths, Julien pushes her back against a wall and she punches him. He then threateningly holds a gun on her until Levade steps in between them.
  • German officials and soldiers show up at Levade's estate and want to see his papers (a several minute sequence that becomes tenser since we know what might happen to him).
  • The two Jewish boys - who are hiding in a walkup attic - hear the German soldiers enter the house.
  • Julien shoots a bad man dead and the latter's blood splatters onto the woman with him.
  • As German soldiers search through Levade's manor and kick open doors, Charlotte tries to elude and then hide from them, eventually aiming a handgun at one who then backs down.
  • A scene where various people are being put on trains to be deported to concentration camps (something they don't realize) may be unsettling/disturbing to some viewers (although we don't see anything violent happen to them).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Pistols: Used by Charlotte and others while practicing.
  • Various weapons: Carried and/or used to shoot at, wound or kill various people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Explosives: Used to blow up some train tracks as a train passes over them.
  • Tanks: Brought into the town by the Germans to help quell the resistance.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*tty," "Bloody hell," "Bastards" and "Pain in the ass."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "f" words, 4 "s" words, 2 asses, 2 hells, 3 uses of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes," "God" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Charlotte and Peter in bed the morning after they first meet (implying they had sex) and we see her bare back (that he caresses). They kiss and she then playfully climbs on top of him.
  • The following night we see them in bed again (implying more sex and/or fooling around).
  • We then see them doing some more kissing while he's shirtless.
  • Benech aims a gun at Charlotte and tells her to stop. He then tells her that if she'll be his "friend" (in a sexual manner), then the boys she's caring for will be safe. He then forces himself on her (while both are standing outdoors), kisses her, gropes her clothed breast, and tries to put his hand up her skirt. She then stops him and states that she'll do so tomorrow when she's clean (but that never happens).
  • Trying to distract a German guard and lure him over to them so that they can escape, Charlotte tells Julien to kiss her and unbutton her blouse. They stop feigning this passion (with him on top of her and them kissing) when the guard comes over to them.
  • Benech escorts a woman back to his place (presumably for sex), but is interrupted before he gets in the door.
  • SMOKING
  • Charlotte and Julien smoke a few times (with her also briefly seen rolling a cigarette), Peter and Mirabel smoke once, and various miscellaneous people also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Two boys discover that their parents are gone (but don't know the real reason of them being taken away by the Nazis).
  • Julien and his father have a strained relationship.
  • Levade states that Julien's mother died when the boy was three.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • WWII, the French resistance, and the little known Special Operations Executive organization formed by the British to assist the French.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Charlotte hits Peter on the head with her hairbrush twice.
  • We hear that the local police killed a woman Charlotte briefly met during an exchange.
  • Some men set off an explosion on some railroad tracks as a train passes over them. Gunfire is then exchanged between those men and others who come off the train. One man is on fire, and some people are shot (and wounded or killed), but there's little related blood, although we do see a person's hands that are bloody.
  • Julien runs to meet his friends who are awaiting another air drop at night in the woods, but then realizes that the Germans are lying in ambush. He then watches as the Germans open fire on them with machine guns, killing all of them (we don't see the impact, but do see some out of focus shots of them falling as well as a later aerial view of their bodies on the ground).
  • Charlotte throws something to the kitchen floor in anger.
  • Thinking that Charlotte was responsible for his friends' deaths, Julien pushes her back against a wall and she punches him. He then threateningly holds a gun on her until Levade steps in between them.
  • Benech aims a gun at Charlotte and tells her to stop.
  • Julien knocks a German guard down and then punches him several times.
  • A soldier hits an old woman in the face with the butt of his rifle, knocking her out.
  • Julien shoots a bad man in the head, killing him, and the latter's blood splatters onto the woman with him.
  • As German soldiers search through Levade's manor and kick open doors, Charlotte tries to elude and then hide from them, eventually aiming a handgun at one who then backs down.
  • In London, we see the structural results of some war damage.



  • Reviewed December 17, 2001 / Posted January 11, 2002

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