What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this award-winning musical has a serious story about alcoholism at its core. While the film depicts the wondrous rise to stardom of a talented, earnest young woman, it also shows the decline and ultimate tragedy of her self-destructive husband and mentor. It's about alcoholism and the deadly results of one man's addiction. Instances of drunkenness are plentiful and, given the time period in which the characters live, there is frequent smoking.
- Families can talk about the differences in treatment for alcoholism in 1954 and today. Do you think Alcoholics Anonymous, Al Anon, or other programs would have helped Norman and Esther? Are you aware of the resources in your community for substance abusers and/or their families?
- Think about how the art of acting has changed over the years since this movie was made. What are some of the most obvious differences between Academy Award-nominated performances then and now?
- What motivated Norman Maine's final decision? How might he have resolved his dilemma in a different way?