Memory (2024) parents guide

Memory (2024) Parent Guide

The story isn't gripping but it's quietly intriguing.

Overall C-

Theaters: A stressed out social worker forges an unlikely connection with a man living with early onset dementia.

Release date January 26, 2024

Violence A
Sexual Content D
Profanity C-
Substance Use B

Why is Memory (2024) rated R? The MPAA rated Memory (2024) R for some sexual content, language and graphic nudity

Run Time: 99 minutes

Parent Movie Review

While her life as a social worker and single mother isn’t particularly easy, Sylvia’s (Jessica Chastain) childhood was much more difficult. She’s still trying to manage her past when she bumps into Saul (Peter Sarsgaard), a strange man who follows her home from a high school reunion one night and sleeps on the sidewalk outside her house. It turns out that Saul has early onset dementia, and barely remembers attending the event in the first place. Sylvia picks up some extra work looking after him in the afternoons while his brother, Isaac (Josh Charles) is at work. Somehow, Sylvia and Saul find a way to connect in a world they both find difficult, stressful, and frequently confusing.

Memory isn’t shy about being a slower-burn personal drama, so if you’re looking for fast-paced excitement, keep on looking. Most of the focus here is on the strange entanglement between the lives of the protagonists, and their struggle to keep their lives from collapsing around them every time something goes awry. It isn’t exactly gripping, but it is quietly intriguing. There’s a simple, stripped-down quality to the film that grounds the story, and that’s helped by a general absence of non-diegetic music and some very natural-sounding dialogue.

In fact, I think it’s that sense of realism that appealed to me the most. There’s very little of that trying-to-look-unintentional perfection you see on big movie sets: this film steers towards natural chaos, the jumble of other people’s lives and the insane mess of New York City. It makes every frame of the movie feel like you’re picking through a stranger’s photo album.

From a content perspective, this film is a mixed bag. There’s no violence, hardly any profanity, and extremely limited background drinking since Sylvia is an recovering alcoholic. There is some non-sexual nudity, several episodes of making out, and one sex scene, most of which happens under the covers. As R-rated romantic dramas go, there’s nothing out of the ordinary here, although this isn’t suitable for teen viewers.

Despite a slightly hazy sense of plot, the film doesn’t seem to get lost, and the brisk 99-minute runtime is a huge help in that regard. The powerful performances from Chastain and Sarsgaard don’t hurt either, but because of its slower, slightly meandering, more character-driven story, this relationship tale isn’t going to be a winner for everyone.

Directed by Michel Franco. Starring Jessica Chastain, Peter Sarsgaard, Brooke Timber. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release January 26, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for Memory (2024)

Memory (2024)
Rating & Content Info

Why is Memory (2024) rated R? Memory (2024) is rated R by the MPAA for some sexual content, language and graphic nudity

Violence: None.
Sexual Content: There are several instances of explicit dialogue related to child sexual abuse. A couple are seen kissing passionately and undressing. A couple are seen having sex without graphic nudity. Adult characters are seen partially nude in non-sexual contexts.
Profanity: There are two sexual expletives and infrequent use of mild curses and terms of deity in the script.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult background characters are seen drinking alcohol in a social context. There are references to teen alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

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Some other character-focused dramas include C’mon C’mon, American Fiction, The Lost Daughter, The Humans, Blue Bayou, Armageddon Time, Eighth Grade, and Pig.