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The Seagull | 2018 | PG-13 | - 5.3.2

Based on the Anton Chekhov play, the story follows the romantic and artistic entanglements among a writer (Corey Stoll), an ingénue (Saoirse Ronan), an aging actress (Annette Bening) and a playwright (Billy Howle) while on holiday at a summer cottage in the late 1890s. Also with Elisabeth Moss, Brian Dennehy, Jon Tenney and Mare Winningham. Directed by Michael Mayer. [1:38]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A long shot shows a nude woman wearing a see-through nightgown and we see full back nudity and the side of one breast. Another long shot features full back nudity of a man jumping into a lake. A man appears shirtless in a few scenes and with his shirt open in a few additional scenes (we see his bare chest and abdomen). In a bathtub scene, we see a woman's forearms, hands and feet. Two scenes include an aging woman wearing a corset, first in an open short gown and long skirt and next in a low-cut dress, both of which expose the tops of her breasts.
 An older man and an 18-year-old young woman kiss passionately and promise to meet each other in Moscow. A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds, six times in one scene. A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds while she caresses his face. A man and a woman kiss briefly.
 A shirtless man lies in bed with a quilt up to his waist, exposing his bare chest while his female companion is clothed in a long nightgown and under the quilt; they kiss briefly. A man and a woman hug. An older man and an 18-year-old young woman stare longingly at each other in several scenes; in a rowboat on a lake, they stare at each other in a few dozen close-ups.
 A woman pursues a younger man, following him around an estate day and night while he constantly tells her to leave him alone. A man seeks out a woman several times and she tells him that she cannot return his love; he follows her around the estate until she screams at him to "Go away!" A man begs his older mistress to let him go so that he can be with a young woman, but the older woman refuses. A man says that another man likes beer and making love to an older woman. A woman says that many affairs happened at her country estate and the romantic idol of the affairs was the local doctor. We hear that a young woman had a child with an older man who laughed at her and went back to his mistress, who financially supported him (we hear the baby died). We hear that a woman married a man she does not love and had a baby with him.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man tears up all his written manuscripts, tosses them into a fireplace, and props a rifle against his forehead; the camera cuts to the parlor, we hear a shot off-screen and we see a woman jump and look frightened as a doctor hurries off-screen and returns stating that he found a small bottle of ether exploded in his medical bag (the frightened woman looks more frightened as the scene ends).
 A man props a rifle against his forehead, the camera pans away and we hear a loud shot; the screen goes to black and comes up on the man in bed with bandages around his head and a little blood showing on his forehead and we later see a red scrape on his forehead as he winces when the bandage is changed. A man points a rifle at a seagull in the sky and we hear a loud shot followed by a thud on the ground (we do not see the bird or blood); the man throws the bird below the frame at the feet of a young woman, we hear a thud and the man and the woman argue before she stalks away and he says he will shoot himself.
 From different windows, a woman and her son see her lover and his girlfriend rowing a boat on a lake causing the first two people to become enraged; the first man leaves a dead seagull at the boat dock for the rowboat people to find and the man in the boat says that it is a woman that a man killed because he was bored with her. A man and a young woman present a shadow puppet play and the woman says all life died out on Earth in the distant future leaving only the devil and when the sheet comes down a man wearing heavy stoles that reveal his bare abdomen appears, holding two large torches that represent the devil's eyes; the crowd gasps and a woman heckles the play until the man shouts and stomps in anger. A woman and her adult son argue loudly and use name-calling in several scenes; in two scenes, he storms away to his study where he plays his piano loudly. A parlor scene shows four women and four men screaming at one another until an older woman runs from the room crying and an older man stomps out and onto the surrounding farm. An ailing elderly man summons his aging sister to his bedside; the family gathers in the dark by lantern lights and candles fearing that he will soon die. An elderly man coughs and gags, stating that he is seriously ill and has many regrets in life. A woman cries in several scenes, complaining that she is in love with a man who will never love her; she says she will rip the love out of her heart. A woman always wears a black dress, stating that she is mourning her life. An older married woman begs a man to let her come live with him and he declines, causing her to cry. We hear that a young woman's mother died. A woman tells a younger man that if he leaves her she will no longer be alive. A man and a woman argue, he gags and coughs, and she shouts for help; two men help the older man off-screen.
 A man walks along a path carrying a dead bird and in a later scene we see the dead bird lying on a step at a boat dock.

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LANGUAGE 2 - 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (stupid, old man, ridiculous, jaded, pompous, jealous, trite, cheap, vulgar, pretentious, monster, pathetic, incompetent, insignificant, nobody, baby, crybaby, parasite, miser, rat's nest, nonsense), 8 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, My God, For God's Sake, For Heaven's Sake, Only God Knows What, May God Bless You, Thank The Lord).

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SUBSTANCE USE - A man has a half empty glass of liquid medicine on his nightstand in a couple of scenes, a man has a brown bottle of medicine on a nightstand (he does not swallow any), and a doctor says that he will offer to tranquillize several people who had an argument (we do not see any drugs). A woman and a few men drink champagne in a parlor, several men and women have large glasses of wine before them on a table (no one drinks), a woman drinks small glasses of vodka in several scenes in a house, two men and two women drink small glasses of vodka in a parlor, a few men and women drink small glasses of sherry, a woman has a large bottle of unknown liquor on her dressing table. A woman pours vodka from a flask into glasses and cups of tea in several scenes, a woman gets up from her chair in two scenes and stumbles (presumably from drinking), and a woman says that a lot of women drink just not as openly as her. Several women and men smoke cigarettes in a house as well as outdoors in several scenes, a woman smokes a thin cigar and a man smokes a fat cigar, a woman places snuff up her nostrils in three scenes and sneezes, and a doctor tells a woman that using snuff is a filthy habit.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Careers as writers and artists, 19th century Russia, love triangles, secrets, lies, honesty, heckling, miserliness, relationships, infatuation, love, respect, commitment, marriage, happiness, fame, envy, jealousy, obsessions with work and love, depression.
MESSAGE - Unrequited love creates turmoil for those involved and for innocent bystanders.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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