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"AMAZING GRACE"
(2007) (Ioan Gruffudd, Benedict Cumberbatch) (PG)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A late 18th century member of Britain's Parliament must overcome various obstacles as he sets out to abolish his country's involvement in the slave trade.
PLOT:
It's 1797 England and Parliamentary member William Wilberforce (IOAN GRUFFUDD) is ailing and has arrived at his cousin's estate for a little recuperation from a bout with colitis as well as a long and arduous battle with other politicians over abolishing his country's involvement with the slave trade. There, his cousin and that man's wife try setting up William with Barbara Spooner (ROMOLA GARAI), a woman of equal mind who's long been an admirer of William's efforts. While the two initially cast aside the matchmaking effort, William soon tells her his tale.

Going back a number of years, he and his friend William Pitt the Younger (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH) are young upstarts in Parliament, and thanks to Wilberforce's evangelical leanings, he's decided to introduce legislation to ban slavery. He immediately runs into opposition in the form of most everyone else, but most notably the Duke of Clarence (TOBY JONES) and Lord Tarleton (CIARAN HINDS) who set out to stop his efforts.

William gets reinforcement from activist Thomas Clarkson (RUFUS SEWELL) as well as freed slave Olaudah Equiano (YOUSSOU N'DOUR) who opens the others' eyes about the horrible conditions afflicting slaves. With additional aid from former slave trader turned minister John Newton (ALBERT FINNEY) as well as Parliament member Lord Charles Fox (MICHAEL GAMBON), William fights the good fight over the next several years, and tries to overcome various obstacles as he sets out to abolish England's slave trade.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're interested in the true life story or are fans of someone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic material involving slavery, and some mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • IOAN GRUFFUDD plays an evangelical member of Parliament who faces and must overcome personal and external obstacles as he attempts to end England's late 18th century involvement in the slave trade. He drinks some and suffers from colitis.
  • ROMOLA GARAI plays a similarly minded activist who he meets years after his battle has begun.
  • YOUSSOU N'DOUR plays a former prince turned slave turned activist who enlightens everyone about the cruelties of slavery.
  • ALBERT FINNEY plays a former slave trader turned minister who's racked with guilt over his previous involvement in the institution. Going blind, he sets out to help William.
  • BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH plays William's best friend, the young Prime Minister who similarly tries to support his cause, but must contend with progressively growing more ill as the years pass.
  • RUFUS SEWELL plays a somewhat radical activist who wants to do more than just go through the legislative process to end slavery. He drinks some.
  • CIARAN HINDS and TOBY JONES play members of Parliament who oppose William's efforts and will do what they can to stop them and him.
  • MICHAEL GAMBON plays another member of Parliament who sides with William. He drinks some.
  • 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 summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. Profanity consists of a mild amount of expletives, while some colorful phrases and brief, sexually related dialogue are also heard. Some cleavage is also present.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including those who oppose abolition. That thematic material and descriptions of slavery horrors might be unsettling to some viewers. Violence includes a flashback image of a slave child being hit by a blast of fire, as well as that of men whipping an ailing horse.

    Characters smoke and/or drink, while there's talk of a sick man being prescribed opiates for his pain. 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.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a bit of camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • William has a dream set in a theater where he comes out and swipes what's presumably liquor off a balcony ledge.
  • Various politicians drink.
  • Various people have wine with dinner.
  • There's talk of opium being the medicine that William is taking.
  • William, Barbara, and others have wine with a meal.
  • Discussing various things, William brings up gin, with Barbara stating they should replace it in the cities with beer (or something along those lines).
  • Fox shows up and asks, "Any of you saints drink?" Thomas replies, "This one bloody does" and retrieves and then drinks from his flask that he then hands to Fox.
  • Miscellaneous people have wine or champagne.
  • William states that unlike the slaves, he has opium for his pain.
  • We see wine in front of William.
  • Pitt has wine.
  • A doctor wants to give opiates to William for his pain, but William wants his head to be clear.
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a wedding reception.
  • About some of William and Barbara's nontraditional pets, Pitt jokes that he likes them in brandy sauce.
  • Thomas drinks from a flask at a ceremony.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Thomas talks of things being stuffed into slaves' anuses to disguise their having dysentery.
  • Olaudah shows a branding mark on his chest.
  • John talks of the blood, "puke" and dysentery in the streets.
  • We see that Lord Tarleton is missing several fingers on his scarred hand.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We see men whipping and kicking a horse that's lying on the ground, but when William comes across that scene, he convinces them to stop.
  • When he doesn't have enough money to continue betting William in a game of cards, the Duke of Clarence proclaims, "Fetch my nigger," planning on using the man as the rest of his bet. William won't have any of that, gets up, and leaves, with the Duke of Clarence saying that he saved the slaves' life (meaning he has it better now than he would have had he remained in his homeland).
  • Thomas talks of things being stuffed into slaves' anuses to disguise their having dysentery.
  • William and Pitt face resistance in Parliament regarding their efforts to end slavery, mainly from the Duke of Clarence and Lord Tarleton.
  • There's talk of money being used to buy votes against the abolition movement.
  • Some people start to believe William is being a seditionist for his attempts to end slavery.
  • About some of William and Barbara's nontraditional pets, Pitt jokes that he likes them in brandy sauce.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Viewers sensitive to such matters might find the following as unsettling or disturbing.
  • We see men whipping and kicking a horse that's lying on the ground, but when William comes across that scene, he convinces them to stop.
  • William imagines a slave woman in shackles.
  • Thomas demonstrates the shackles slaves are forced to wear.
  • Olaudah shows William around a former slave ship and talks of the abuses that took place on it.
  • William tells a group of people that of the 600 slaves who started their trip on a slave ship, only 200 survived. He then describes the smell of death as the various people there react in shock to that smell.
  • While chopping wood, William sudden collapses in pain (but later is okay).
  • William is in pain and accidentally breaks things when it seems he's dying (but he's okay later).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see men whipping and kicking a horse that's lying on the ground, but when William comes across that scene, he convinces them to stop.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're outrageous," "To hell with that," "Fetch my nigger," "This one bloody does," "Whores," "To hell with caution," "Damn them with it," "What the hell are you two talking about?" "Move your ass," "Where the hell is everyone?" and "What the bloody hell does that mean?"
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays late in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 5 hells, 2 asses, 1 damn, 2 uses each of "Dear God" and "For God's sakes" and 1 use each of "Good God" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • William has a dream set in a theater where clothed women frolic on men's clothed laps.
  • A classic statue (seen in the background of a shot) shows male full frontal nudity.
  • Barbara shows some cleavage.
  • Maryanne (William's cousin's wife) shows some cleavage in several scenes.
  • Barbara shows some cleavage.
  • Thomas talks of "whores" and young girls being debauched by others.
  • SMOKING
  • Miscellaneous people smoke pipes in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The film's historical accuracy and/or any artistic license taken with the truth.
  • Slavery and abolitionism.
  • There's talk of the war in America.
  • The comment that marriage equals good health.
  • When he doesn't have enough money to continue betting William in a game of cards, the Duke of Clarence proclaims, "Fetch my nigger," planning on using the man as the rest of his bet. William won't have any of that, gets up, and leaves, with the Duke of Clarence saying that he saved the slaves' life (meaning he has it better now than he would have had he remained in his homeland).
  • Pitt asking William if he wants to praise the Lord or save the world.
  • Olaudah shows a branding mark on his chest.
  • We see a clothed beggar who doesn't have any legs.
  • We hear that John was a former slave trader, and he now feels guilt over that.
  • There's talk of opium being the medicine that William is taking.
  • William being told he's given his youth and health for the abolitionist cause.
  • William suffers from colitis.
  • Going blind.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see men whipping and kicking a horse that's lying on the ground, but when William comes across that scene, he convinces them to stop.
  • A man throws a glass to the floor.
  • We see a stylized, flashback view of a slave child being hit by a blast of fire at night.
  • Lord Tarleton throws a chair in anger.



  • Reviewed January 24, 2007 / Posted February 23, 2007

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