Georgetown Parent Guide
This intriguing mystery, which is based on a true story, should generate more tension than it does.
Parent Movie Review
Who is Ulrich Mott (Christoph Waltz)? Is he a brilliant self-made man with a flair for international diplomacy, grief stricken by the death of his wife Elsa (Vanessa Redgrave)? Or is he a social climbing fraud who murdered his elderly wife for her money?
Resolving that question is the point of Georgetown, and it’s disappointing that the movie doesn’t generate enough tension as it winds its way to its conclusion. Given that the script is based on a scandalous real life Washington DC murder, it should provide more excitement than the mild curiosity that ensues from the events in the story.
I’m not sure where to lay the blame, but it doesn’t fall on Vanessa Redgrave. A grande dame of Hollywood, the 84-year-old Redgrave rises to the challenge, and gives us a believable Elsa. This is a real achievement because it’s difficult to sympathize with a woman who marries a man forty years her junior and continues to support and promote him, despite his history of deceit and infidelity. Redgrave somehow imbues her Elsa with enough lonely vulnerability and imperious self-assurance to make her behavior credible, if not always understandable. Perhaps the fault lies with Christoph Waltz. His Mott is supposed to succeed thanks to his determination, intelligence, and suave European charm, but he often feels one-dimensional, which is problematic for a man who is supposed to be a complex enigma.
If you like real life murder mysteries, don’t share this one with the family. It’s on the low end of the Restricted scale, but there are discussions of murder, some brief scenes of domestic violence, implied homosexual relations, and over a dozen sexual expletives in the film.
Georgetown isn’t a disaster of a movie – it might not be a riveting, knuckle-whitener of a thrill ride but it’s not a bad whodunit. It certainly fits comfortably into the made-for-TV real life mystery genre and is best watched at home. Trust me, there’s no point paying theatrical prices for a film that will look just as good on your own TV.Directed by Christoph Waltz. Starring Christoph Waltz, Vanessa Redgrave, and Annette Bening. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release May 18, 2021. Updated May 19, 2021
Watch the trailer for Georgetown
Rating & Content Info
Why is Georgetown rated R? Georgetown is rated R by the MPAA for language and brief sexual material.
Violence: There is mention of a woman being abducted in the Middle East. It is suggested that someone has been murdered. A married couple have a brief tussle. A woman waves a wine bottle threateningly. A man throws food at a woman and throws her clothes into the hallway. There is a brief discussion of the post mortem on a murder victim.
Sexual Content: A man kisses a married woman. There’s a suggestion that two men had a homosexual encounter. In another scene, two men are shown in bed, shirtless but with no explicit sexual content. A man’s buttocks are seen as he runs out of a room. A person uses a slang term for homosexuality.
Profanity: There are over a dozen sexual expletives and a smattering of scatological curses, terms of deity, anatomical terms, and minor swear words. Crude terms for women and female anatomy are used. A character is repeatedly described as an idiot and a fool.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A main character smokes cigarettes. People drink alcohol with meals. A main character is drunk. A man drinks alcohol in a bar.
Page last updated May 19, 2021
Georgetown Parents' Guide
This film is based on the real life marriage (and murder) of Albrecht Muth and Viola Drath. For a detailed history of the couple, check out The New York Times: The Worst Marriage in Georgetown. More information is available in The Washington Post: Albrecht Muth sentenced to 50 years in the 2011 slaying of his socialite wife, Viola Drath.
Why does Elsa remain married to Ulrich? To what extent does her age render her more vulnerable to domestic abuse? What can be done to help elderly people trapped in abusive situations? What resources are available in your community?
National Institute on Aging: Elder Abuse
Help Guide: Elder Abuse and Neglect
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