Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that teens may be interested because Natalie Portman stars, but that the film is too intense for tweens and younger teens. It's loosely based on a particularly violent period of history, perceived by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Images of torture (woman hangs naked from the ceiling by her wrists behind her back: very painful looking), rape, emaciated prisoners, riots in the street, soldiers on horseback assaulting crowds, underclass attacking a wealthy man who tries to escape; occasional talk of hanging, decapitation, prostitution, and torture.
Sexual imagery here is frequently entangled with violence. Inés' torture includes being hung up, naked (explicit image) so her arms are pulled backward; in prison, Lorenzo embraces her, intimating that he also rapes her (off-screen); Alicia is a prostitute (discussions of her appearance and procuring her services); when a woman is raped, her breasts are visible; discussion of prostitution (Lorenzo determines to ship prostitutes to America, references to "whore" and "harlot").
The cruelty of the Spanish Inquisition and then the French Revolution is focused through very specific images of violence: Inés' painful torture (she screams and cries) is matched by the similar torture of Lorenzo, who also collapses emotionally; her abuse in imprison for years results in a devastating loss of weight, teeth, and hair (made very visible); insinuation that Lorenzo rapes Inés (she accepts his embrace, but she's in prison and afraid); discussion of the Revolution (decapitation); crowds loot and cause a ruckus; soldiers ride horses, shoot guns, cause screams and falling bodies; a woman's rape shown briefly; asylum is full of unkempt, beaten-looking inmates; sentenced to death, an Inquistor begs for his life; Goya's head is cut in a scuffle; rebels attack a party of soldiers traveling with women in a wagon; rebels attack Lorenzo.
"Bastard," "whore," "harlot."
Goya observes malevolence by authorities, Church officials, and wealthy clients.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Wine drinking by upper classes; bawdy scenes at bars.