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The Song [2014] [PG-13] - 4.4.2

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

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
Profanity
1 to 10

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Inspired by the Old Testament's "Song of Solomon," the film follows the life of a bluegrass singer (Alan Powell) whose father's (Aaron Benward's) music career was ruined by the temptations of the world. Pushed by his greedy talent agent, the son aims for wealth and stardom, but also begins to yield to temptations and he and his wife (Ali Faulkner) endure years of emotional frenzy. Also with Danny Vinson and Caitlin Nicol-Thomas. Directed by Richard Ramsey. [1:52]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man has an affair with a married band mate (he meets the woman in various places; no sex is shown) and in one scene the woman is in a swimming pool (reveals bare shoulders and arms above the water) while a voiceover says, "Do not lust in your heart for her beauty. Stay away from another man's wife."
 A man tells a woman that he wants to build a chapel in order to marry her and she says that she can't wait that long; the camera cuts to their outdoor wedding and cuts again to a darkened bedroom with red rose petals scattered across a bed before we see a man and a woman standing in a very dark hallway as they embrace and kiss (sex is implied); we then see the couple in bed together in the morning as he leans over and kisses her on the cheek. A wife enters a bedroom and begins to unbutton a long sleeve as her husband walks in and closes the door (sex is implied). A married man enters hotel bedrooms with a woman (not his wife) and the doors close (sex is implied). A husband and his wife embrace for an extended period in a scene from "It's a Wonderful Life" on TV. A wife wrapped in a sheet (we see her bare shoulder and arm) sits on her husband's lap briefly and he writes her a love song.
 A wife meets her singer husband at one of his concerts, displaying a pregnant, swollen belly; the husband's girlfriend sees the pregnancy and the next day threatens to tell the wife about her affair with the husband and months later we see the girlfriend at the couple's home playing with their young son and she says to the boy, "I told him I'd sit on his face, but he didn't get it"; the couple tells the girlfriend to leave and the wife tells her husband to leave as well.
 A wife and her husband argue several times about sex; she says he comes home and grabs her and he says he could get it on the road if he wanted to and he has to beg his wife for it; she says that he is not romantic and he says that he is out of practice. A husband and his wife shout and scream loudly at each other in three scenes. A male singer shuts his dressing room door on a woman after stating that he does not sleep with groupies, and she laughs and walks away. A woman tells a man that she meets at a fair that her boyfriend dumped her because she refused to have sex with him; the boyfriend showed up at the fair with a new girlfriend and the first woman says that she feels strange about it. A drunken woman (please see the Substance Use category for more details) tells a man that "You're hotter than your dad!" A woman says to a man, "You felt wanted [when she appeared at his door]. Didn't that feel good?" and he makes no reply. A wife gives her husband her engagement and wedding rings, but takes them back months later, when he sings a religious song (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 Female groupies mob a singer after a concert and another night during a performance, a groupie tackles him on the stage floor briefly, before security removes her.
 Half a dozen women wear tops with thin straps that bare the shoulders, arms and cleavage. The chests, backs and arms of two women reveal tattoos of designs, like Egyptian gods, lines and flowers. A woman wears a sleeveless top that reveals tattoos and cleavage, with a skirt made only of short fringes over patterned pantyhose that reveal full thighs, legs, and ankles.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man answers the phone and the camera cuts to a woman sitting on a floor, crying on the phone while in a fuzzy background shot behind her head we see a man is hanging from a doorway with his feet off the floor, an apparent suicide; we do not see the neck or head, or hear anything about the incident. A woman walks into the bathroom and finds her boyfriend with his wrist and forearm covered in blood in an apparent suicide attempt; she pulls him over the side of the tub and turns on the shower and he dreams he is running, falling onto a wooden floor in a half-built chapel and confronted by his father, who says, "Stop running"; the camera cuts to the injured man in a hospital bed with his forearm bandaged and his wife leaves the room after placing her wedding and engagement rings on the bedside table.
 After marrying an older man's daughter, a younger man dreams about the father chasing him with a long knife after slitting the neck of a dead deer hung over a metal bucket, producing some blood flow from the animal.
 A man smoking (please see the Substance Use category for more details) coughs blood onto his fist while playing guitar and the camera cuts briefly to a graveside service with a coffin surrounded by black-clad people. An older man coughs up blood while working in a vineyard and we see a woman on a cell phone crying violently and the camera cuts to an outdoor funeral for the older man, with families dressed in black around a coffin. A flashback shows a man grabbing his chest and falling to the ground and his adult daughter screams into the camera (no sound). A woman kneels at her father's tombstone and says goodbye.
 A man stands on a stage where he is singing and sees the ghost of an older man after death and has a panic attack, knocks over a microphone and collapses, but recovers.
 A wife asks her husband why a female performer no longer sings with his group and the man says, "She punched a guy in the face"; the wife says, "Good for her" and they argue and scream about the woman; the man becomes enraged, grasps a piece of lumber and smashes out all the windows loudly, shattering glass, but no one is hurt. A man walks off stage several times when a woman backup musician plays a song he does not want to perform; he finally grabs her hard by the arm and forbids her to play or sing it, but she breaks away and begins singing alone into a microphone; he loudly crushes the mike and the amplifier, storms off stage into the dressing room where he breaks more equipment while the crowd boos loudly and the woman enters the dressing room, screaming and hitting him in the chest; their agent enters, shouts at both of them and fires the woman. A woman argues briefly with her husband, but cries in joy as he performs a religious song on stage.
 A woman shows up at a man's house and confronts his wife, who shouts at her husband to get out. A man argues loudly several times with his agent about being on the road too often and playing too many engagements; the agent splutters (we see spit flying), "I'll sue you!" and the man says, "It's only money" and quits the music business. A man on a stage sings to another man in the audience that the second man should have a black eye for dumping a nice girl.
 A TV program depicts lions killing antelope and we see a little gore as a throat is torn out. An older man at home sits with taxidermied animals around him: a bear, a large turkey, a deer head and a wolf.
 A man on stage at a music contest stops singing and speaks into the microphone, saying that God died for us and that is what makes music worth writing and performing. A little boy says that he has blisters on his fingers from drum playing, but we see no blisters. Throughout the film, voiceovers recite from the Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes.
 A woman squats with her back to the camera, retching loudly over a toilet, then sits down in profile and wipes her mouth, but we see no vomitus.

PROFANITY 2 - Name-calling (fool, stupid, jerk, junk, junkie, winner, schemer, whore, sleazy, slutty, performance monkey), stereotypical references to Kentucky farmers, fathers, country singers, groupies, talent agents/managers, drunks, men, women, the "other woman," children, exclamations (shut-up, stop talking), 4 religious exclamations (God Bless, I See God Here, God, Who God). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Men and women smoke drugged cigarettes and we see one such drugged cigarette in close-up, a woman gives a man two unknown pills and he takes them in his hand, a man swallows an unknown number of pills without water and a woman opens a prescription bottle and pours out some pills as the scene ends, a woman walks into the bathroom and swallows pills with water, a man rushes into the bathroom where he finds and swallows a pill before sitting on the closed toilet and we see his arms and hands shaking (suggesting withdrawal), a man sits in a car with a woman in a driveway and swallows a handful of pills before driving over a pile of large plastic toys, and a man in a rehab center takes medication from a small cup when administered by a nurse. Men and women drink from short glasses of whiskey and shot glasses of liquor as well as beer bottles and plastic cups of beer at a party, a man chugs a bottle of whiskey and another man takes it away from him and we see the drinker face down on the carpet the next morning with the empty bottle beside his head, a few bar scenes show short glasses and shots of liquor on top of the bar and wait staff carry pitchers of beer to men and women at tables who drink from glasses, a father and his adult daughter run a vineyard and have a wine tasting booth at a fair where we see several men and women drinking glasses of wine in three scenes, a woman drinks wine from a glass at a fair and she appears drunk (she talks loudly, giggles and stumbles), and a woman arrives at the house of another woman and drinks from a glass of wine (she stumbles as she walks out the door). A man smokes while working on a ladder and while playing a guitar, men and women either hold or hold and smoke lighted cigarettes in two bar scenes, a woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes including at a dressing room door and in an apartment as well as in her dressing room and in a couple of bars, a man smokes at home, a man and a woman smoke in a tattoo parlor while a few women smoke in the background, and a man smokes while playing his guitar on a bench on a brick patio and we see cigarette butts around the bricks.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Faith, the Bible, Christians, music careers, groupies, peer pressure, drugs and alcohol use, fidelity, pain, illness, death, redemption, reconciliation.

MESSAGE - Put your family first and hold on to your convictions.

Special Keywords: S4 - V4 - P2 - MPAAPG-13

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