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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Adaptation of A.S. Byatt's mystery about two literary sleuths (Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart) who fall in love while investigating the secret romantic life of two Victorian poets. Also with Tom Hollander, Lena Headey and Jeremy Northam. [1:43]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman have sex: we see her sitting on top of him and there's brief thrusting (he's bare-chested and she is in a sheer nightdress). A man unlaces a woman's corset and kisses her back and shoulders. A bare-chested man and a woman kiss and lie back in bed caressing each other (we see this scene a couple of times). A man and a woman kiss a few times, a man and a woman lie in bed together and kiss briefly. A woman caresses another woman's face, and a woman lies on a sofa with her head in the lap of another woman who begins to caress her hair. A man and a woman hold hands in several scenes, sometimes accompanied by longing glances. A man takes off his clothes down to his boxers and a woman watches (not in a sexual way). We see a man in bed and his bare shoulders and chest are exposed. There are many discussions of love poetry, and of a homosexual relationship between two women. We see a few nude statues (both male and female, exposing bare breasts and buttocks). Women wear period costumes that expose cleavage.

VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - A woman sews rocks into her skirt, we see her walking into a body of water and hear that she committed suicide. A man chases another man, tackles him, and punches him in the nose (we see some blood). A man threatens two men with a shotgun. A woman dumps over a table in anger. There is a discussion of a child having died and the possibility of a woman having killed her child. Three men are shown digging up a grave.

PROFANITY 4 - 2 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 3 mild obscenities, 14 religious exclamations, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Secrets, lust, scholars, feminism, misogyny, suffragettes, homosexuality, Anglocentrism, God, poets and poetry, solitude, muses, Sigmund Freud, spiritualism, infidelity, childbirth out of wedlock, forgiveness.

MESSAGE - Keeping secrets from the ones you love can ruin your life.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.)

Special Keywords: S4 - V2 - P4 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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