Days of the Bagnold Summer parents guide

Days of the Bagnold Summer Parent Guide

Not much happens in this character drama, but with characters this finely drawn and appealing, action feels beside the point.

Overall B+

Digital on Demand: When Daniel's Florida holiday is cancelled, he has to spend the summer at home with his mum. He's not thrilled.

Release date February 19, 2021

Violence A
Sexual Content B
Profanity D+
Substance Use C

Why is Days of the Bagnold Summer rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Days of the Bagnold Summer Not Rated

Run Time: 86 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Daniel Bagnold (Earl Cave) has been looking forward to spending the summer in Florida with his father, so when his father calls to reschedule the visit, the 15 year old is understandably disappointed. Angry and hurt, he retreats even further into his world of heavy metal music while his mother, Sue (Monica Dolan), does her best to cheer him up.

Anyone who has ever tried to raise a moody teenager will feel a twinge of sympathy as they watch Daniel slouch around behind Sue, dressed all in black, with his face shielded by a curtain of hair. He’s clearly miserable but his interactions with his worried mother consist mostly of groans and an insistence that she can’t understand. The writers deserve credit for clearly showing his selfishness, self-absorption, and personal contradictions without turning him into a figure of mockery. His vulnerabilities are also visible and that makes him a sympathetic figure instead of an obnoxious one.

For her part, Sue is the prototypical frumpy middle aged woman. She’s 52 years old, clad in shapeless clothes and sensible sandals, with unflattering glasses and a worse haircut. Sue works as a librarian all day and comes home to the challenges of her morose teenager.

Parents with teens at home will relate as Sue tries to encourage Daniel to move forward in his life. She’s by turns bewildered, frustrated, and angry, but she never quits. She might feel futile but she keeps reaching out and offering opportunities for connection to her son.

This production is unrated but comes in at a PG-13 level. Profanity is infrequent but does include three sexual expletives. There are a few scenes of social drinking as well as a scene where a teenager is clearly intoxicated and another where an adult buys beer for a minor. Aside from these issues, there is little negative content to worry about.

Thankfully, there’s also plenty of content to celebrate. Days of the Bagnold Summer is a little jewel of a movie, quiet and understated but filled with heart and humor. There are unforgettable scenes – when Sue and Daniel try to go shoe shopping, when Sue tries to recapture the easy companionship of Daniel’s childhood with a trip to the seaside, and when Daniel sits unmoving in front of his phone while his mother frenziedly cleans around him. I can’t count the number of times I laughed out loud – or the number of times I face-palmed when a scene cut a little too close to home. This flawlessly acted movie is a tribute to the importance of family ties, particularly the power of a mother’s unfailing love and patience. It’s a pick-me-up for weary parents and a reminder that what we do matters, even when our efforts are unappreciated. That reassurance might be reason enough to watch the film.

Directed by Simon Bird. Starring Monica Dolan, Earl Cave. Running time: 86 minutes. Theatrical release February 19, 2021. Updated

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Days of the Bagnold Summer
Rating & Content Info

Why is Days of the Bagnold Summer rated Not Rated? Days of the Bagnold Summer is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: A dog dies.
Sexual Content: A young man is shirtless while exercising.  A man and woman kiss in a taxi: he tries to undo a button on her blouse.
Profanity: The movie has a handful of profanities, including a couple of sexual expletives and three scatological terms. There are also a few terms of deity and crude anatomical expressions.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink wine with dinner; a woman talks about being drunk. A teenager gets drunk and vomits. A woman orders alcohol for an underage child.

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Days of the Bagnold Summer Parents' Guide

How do Sue and Daniel change over the course of the summer? What leads them to make changes in their lives? Do you think they will be happier as a result?

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This film is adapted from a graphic novel by Joff Winterhart entitled Other People: Days of the Bagnold Summer and Driving Short Distances.

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