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"SPIDER"
(2002) (Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A schizophrenic recalls his troubled childhood and tries to adjust to freedom after being released into the care of a halfway house.
PLOT:
Dennis "Spider" Cleg (RALPH FIENNES) is a marginally functional schizophrenic who's just been released to a halfway house run by Mrs. Wilkinson (LYNN REDGRAVE) where he and other former patients, such as Terrence (JOHN NEVILLE), try to get on with life in a controlled setting.

Scribbling seemingly indecipherable notes for himself in his solitary room, Spider soon begins to recall his life as a young boy (BRADLEY HALL) and being raised by his mother (MIRANDA RICHARDSON) and father, Bill Cleg (GABRIEL BYRNE), a local plumber. Nicknamed by his mother, young Spider is oblivious to the apparent strife between his parents.

He witnesses it firsthand as an adult and "watches" his father spend time in the local pub where he eventually meets and then starts seeing Yvonne (MIRANDA RICHARDSON), one of the various prostitutes who frequent the establishment. As the events of his childhood unfold in front of him - the way Spider remembers them -- it's only a matter of time before we see the pivotal events that made him the way he is today.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of the director or someone in the cast or are interested in films featuring characters suffering from mental illness, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexuality, brief violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RALPH FIENNES plays a schizophrenic who recalls and/or fantasizes about his real or imaginary childhood as he tries to cope with being released into the care of a halfway house. He also smokes a great deal.
  • MIRANDA RICHARDSON plays both Spider's mother who must deal with her husband's infidelity as well as an apparent prostitute who's a mean and boozing sort who services Mr. Cleg.
  • GABRIEL BYRNE plays Spider's plumber father who cheats on his wife, drinks, smokes, and is mean toward his son.
  • LYNN REDGRAVE plays the woman running the halfway house where Spider and other mentally ill people live.
  • BRADLEY HALL plays young Spider who watches his father turn the family upside down.
  • 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 quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama where not everything is what it initially appears. Profanity consists of at least 3 "f" words, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as are two sexual encounters (involving manual stimulation and intercourse) and nudity (bare breasts live and in photos).

    Violence includes a person striking a person with a shovel and killing them (with bloody results), as well as a boy purposefully attempting to gas his father and/or step-mother. Some of those scenes and others may be disturbing and/or tense, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Various characters smoke and/or drink, with some of the latter being drunk. Some potentially dangerous imitative behavior is present, as are some tense family moments and thematic material involving mentally ill people.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have beer or ale in a pub, including Spider.
  • Bill has a beer in the pub where others drink. He downs his quickly, prompting his wife to ask him not to drink so fast.
  • Various people drink in the pub.
  • We see a wine bottle in front of Bill.
  • People drink in the pub, including Bill who orders some scotch.
  • Spider has a beer.
  • A woman carries a bottle of booze and she appears intoxicated. Bill later takes some swigs from that, as does the woman. Later, both of them are drunk and walk along with the bottle.
  • A woman comes into a room, drinking from a bottle.
  • Bill appears drunk, as does his new wife. We then see her passed out with empty bottles by her.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man hits a woman on the head with a shovel (we don't see the impact), bloodying and mortally wounding her.
  • A patient's hand is bloody after cutting it on a shard of glass that he's holding. We later see the shard of glass with some blood on it.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Readers should note that not everything is what it initially appears (but what's listed here is presented on the screen).
  • Bill cheats on his wife.
  • A man hits a woman on the head with a shovel (we don't see the impact), bloodying and mortally wounding her, while another woman there laughs about that (as does the man later).
  • Bill takes off his belt and repeatedly tries to hit young Spider with it (the boy runs away) and Bill tells him not to come back.
  • A boy runs a long rope through the house and down to the gas stove where he ties it off. Later, he pulls it and thus turns on the gas in the house, attempting to kill his mother and/or father. We later see that he apparently succeeds at one.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be disturbing or tense to some viewers.
  • A patient's hand is bloody after cutting it on a glass shard that he's holding. Guards then come in with a mattress and grab him. Spider then has that shard and runs it along his wrist, but does not end up cutting himself (he turns it in to someone else).
  • Adult Spider enters a woman's room with a hammer and screwdriver and appears intent on doing harm to her (he hovers above her as she sleeps).
  • A boy runs a long rope through the house and down to the gas stove where he ties it off. Later, he pulls it and thus turns on the gas in the house, attempting to kill his mother and/or father.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Cut your f*cking heart out," "Fag" (cigarette), "Bloody" (adjective), "Bastard," "Fart," "You bloody murderer" and "Cheeky monkey."
  • After finding a shard of glass, Spider runs it along his wrist, but does not end up cutting himself
  • A boy runs a long rope through the house and down to the gas stove where he ties it off. Later, he pulls it and thus turns on the gas in the house, attempting to kill his mother and/or father.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of such music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "f" words, 2 slang terms for breasts ("t*ts"), 3 uses of "For God's sakes" and 1 use of "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see adult Spider lying sideways in a bathtub full of dirty water, but due to the camera angle, we don't see any explicit nudity.
  • Seeing that adult Spider keeps his belongings in a sock that he keeps down the front of his pants, another unstable man has his hand down inside his own pants and laughs.
  • A woman in a pub laughs as she purposefully shows young Spider her bare breast.
  • Young Spider spots his father kissing and nuzzling his mother's neck out in an alley as they head off.
  • A woman shows cleavage.
  • Bill is a plumber and a female customer drops some innuendo by asking him questions such as whether he's doing to do her pipes.
  • After Terrence says he got a letter from Sophia Loren, another man asks what she wanted and then makes a nonsexual sound to represent sex (making Terrence say that's right). A comment is then made about some woman who has "three t*ts."
  • Adult Spider has a photograph that shows two bare-breasted women and a view of a woman's bare butt.
  • Bill nuzzles a woman's neck and she says that if he does her pipes, "I'll do you." She then asks if he likes what she's doing and then asks, "What's this?" while presumably groping him (after opening her shirt) and some heavy breathing. She's manually stimulating him (the contact is not seen, but the movement is), he climaxes in her hand (not seen), and she then flings his semen off her hand (graphically seen).
  • A woman walks up to a shack and hears sexual sounds. She then sees a woman moving on top of a man in a chair (no nudity), but he gets up when he spots the first woman. Later, that couple passionately kiss (the ones who were having sex).
  • SMOKING
  • Spider smokes around 15 times, while Bill smokes more than 5, Yvonne smokes several times and various miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Bill's wife is upset with him (after he's fooled around with another woman) and young Spider hears them arguing. Later, he hears his mother crying and even later is upset that Bill has replaced Spider's mother with another woman.
  • A boy is told that his mother was murdered (by an accomplice).
  • Bill takes off his belt and repeatedly tries to hit young Spider with it (the boy runs away) and Bill tells him not to come back.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Mental illness.
  • Troubled childhoods, family life, and their impact on kids.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Spider gets upset with a jigsaw puzzle and violently tears it up.
  • A man hits a woman on the head with a shovel (we don't see the impact), bloodying and mortally wounding her. Later, he and a woman kick the wrapped up body into a grave.
  • A patient's hand is bloody after cutting it on a glass shard that he's holding. Guards then come in with a mattress and grab him.
  • Bill takes off his belt and repeatedly tries to hit young Spider with it (the boy runs away).
  • Bill slaps his son.
  • A boy runs a long rope through the house and down to the gas stove where he ties it off. Later, he pulls it and thus turns on the gas in the house, attempting to kill his mother and/or father. We later see that he apparently succeeds at one.



  • Reviewed January 28, 2003 / Posted March 14, 2003

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