The Silent Twins Parent Guide
It's a weird ride and not for the faint of heart.
Parent Movie Review
Twins June (Letitia Wright) and Jennifer Gibbons (Tamara Lawrance) haven’t spoken to anyone else since they were infants. Instead of the company of others, they spend their time together in a vibrant, bizarre, imagined world, built on their shared stories. Their refusal to engage with others has consequences – both at school, where teachers are becoming increasingly concerned about their isolation, and at home, where it risks alienating their entire family. Although their exploits are limited to deliberate silence and extravagant storytelling, they start to branch out as they grow up…and who knows where that will take them.
Based on an incredible true story, The Silent Twins tries to incorporate elements from June and Jennifer’s writings: both women wrote extensively, although their work is difficult to find now. Their writings are brought to life through stop-motion puppet shows interspersed through the film, which feel like a Muppet’s withdrawal nightmares. They’re all fairly dark and more than a little disturbing, but considering the source, that makes a certain amount of sense.
The Silent Twins doesn’t pretend to offer any answers for the reasons behind the siblings’ silence, nor to their increasingly strange behaviour. I appreciate the screenwriters’ willingness to admit that there are some things we will simply never know, but it does leave the story feeling a little hollow sometimes. The characters ricochet between seeming somewhat reasonable and completely unhinged, and the turnaround time between the two can be very brief. From the audience’s perspective, that can make the film feel jerky and confusing – I can only imagine how it felt for June and Jennifer’s family.
As far as family audiences are concerned, you’d be better off going elsewhere for entertainment. Our heroes get up to all manner of misbehavior, not limited to watching one another have sex with the same man, huffing industrial chemicals, and committing arson. The story also features both attempted murder and attempted suicide – and then there’s the character who obtains a jar of semen to try and impregnate herself.
The Silent Twins is a weird ride, and not one for the faint of heart. I think the film has some strong points, notably the lead performances, but much like the people they represent, it can also be erratic, confusing, and enigmatic. However intentional that might be, it doesn’t create a viewing experience for a casual audience.Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska. Starring Letitia Wright, Tamara Lawrance, Jodhi May. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release September 23, 2022. Updated September 24, 2022
Watch the trailer for The Silent Twins
The Silent Twins
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Silent Twins rated R? The Silent Twins is rated R by the MPAA for drug use, some sexual content, nudity, language and disturbing material.
Violence: A character injures herself with her fingernails. A person is bitten. One individual chokes another and nearly kills them. Characters are seen committing arson. A character attempts suicide. Corpses are seen. In fantasies, a man is seen drowned in soda, and a puppet performs a heart transplant from a dog to a human.
Sexual Content: Adults are seen having sex and watching one another have sex without nudity. There are several instances of sexual language. A character is seen with a jar containing semen.
Profanity: There are four sexual expletives and a single scatological curse in the script, along with occasional uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters are seen smoking, drinking, and huffing industrial chemicals.
Page last updated September 24, 2022
The Silent Twins Parents' Guide
Why do you think June and Jennifer stopped speaking to people? What were some of the consequences of their silence? What do you think they gained by it? How did their time in Broadmoor affect them? Do you think that sentence was proportionate to their crimes? How are people treated in psychiatric care units?