Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Genius is a biographical drama about acclaimed 20th-century literary editor Max Perkins' (Colin Firth) complex, almost paternal relationship with legendary author Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law). Despite the well-known stars, this is likely too academic a subject matter for most teens to be interested in, but high-schoolers familiar with Wolfe and/or his literary contemporaries and predecessors Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald may be fascinated by the way the movie portrays the close artistic partnership between writer and editor. Language includes a few uses of "goddamn," "son of a b-tch," and the like, and there's some passionate kissing and allusions to prostitution and adultery. Themes of alcoholism (everyone drinks to excess), artistic angst, and mental illness are best suited for mature audiences.
Passionate kisses and obvious foreplay between Thomas and Aline. Thomas flirts with, kisses, and caresses two women, possibly prostitutes, at a jazz club. The jazz club patrons dance in a sexualized manner. A few embraces and kisses between the married Max and Louise Perkins. Aline recalls how Thomas seduced her away from her husband and grown children.
Aline attempts suicide in front of Thomas and Max by taking many pills. Descriptions and the portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald's fragile condition are potentially disturbing. Aline pulls a gun out and points it at Max and herself, proving how pointless she finds life without Max to be; Max passes out and is shown hospitalized.
A couple uses of "goddamn," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "hell," "Oh lord," "damn."
If you have to sacrifice your decency and your love for your art, you might be a brilliant artist, but you won't be a decent or happy person. You can love your family and your work.
Drugs / Tobacco /
A woman takes lots of pills in order to make it clear that she's willing to kill herself; authors/artists drink to excess on a regular basis; nearly every adult smokes cigarettes both in private and in public.