What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie about a troubled family (which stars Mel Gibson and was directed by Jodie Foster) is a very strange drama with some comedy elements; it's disturbing in many ways, and while some will find it appalling, others may find it inspiring. A despondent character attempts suicide, and there's a constant, simmering sense of discontent, as well as some moments of fighting and violence. Language includes "s--t," one "f--k," and other words; there's also some teen flirting and minor sex scenes between a husband and a wife. There's one intense scene of drinking, plus prescription drugs and a mention of a teen buying "weed."
- Families can talk about how the movie portrays family relationships. Is this a typical movie family? Do the characters and their interactions seem believable? Relatable?
- At the height of his depression, Walter drinks lots of alcohol. How does it affect him? What are the real-life consequences of drinking?
- Did you find the beaver funny or disturbing? Does he help Walter, or does he send Walter down another wrong path?
- What do you think the movie's ultimate take-away is? What audience is it intended to appeal to?