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Movie guide details
Anne of Green Gables has been a beloved work of literature in the lives of families worldwide for nearly 100 years.
movie: Anne of Green Gables
cast: Ella Ballentine, Sara Botsford, & Martin Sheen
runtime: 90 minutes
rating explanation: General Audience
In case you aren’t familiar, this is how Amazon describes the plot of the original book:
“Anne is described as bright and quick, eager to please, talkative, and extremely imaginative. She has a pale face with freckles and usually braids her red hair. When asked her name, Anne asks Marilla to call her Cordelia, which Marilla refuses; Anne then insists that if she is to be called Anne, it must be spelled with an e, as that spelling is “so much more distinguished.” Marilla at first says the girl must return to the orphanage, but after a few days, she decides to let her stay. Marilla feels that she could be a good influence on the girl and had also overheard that another disagreeable woman in town might take Anne in instead. As a child of imagination, Anne takes much joy in life and adapts quickly, thriving in the close-knit farming village. Her talkativeness initially drives the prim, duty-driven Marilla to distraction, although Matthew falls for her charm immediately. Anne says that they are “kindred spirits.” The book recounts Anne’s adventures in making a home: the country school where she quickly excels in her studies; her friendship with Diana Barry (her best or “bosom friend” as Anne fondly calls her); her budding literary ambitions; and her rivalry with classmate Gilbert Blythe, who teases her about her red hair. For that, he earns her instant hatred, although he apologizes many times.”
Movie guide discussion
The following is a loose movie guide of the film’s topics that may cause discussion with your people. I try to watch and listen closely, but the only way to guarantee that this movie is suitable for your family is to preview it yourself.
violence: While not serious, Anne cracks a slate over a boy’s head that is teasing her.
During one of the very first conversations, a lady is warning another about the violence that orphans have brought on their homeowners. She talks about one orphan burning down the house and about another orphan shooting everyone with a rifle and then “slitting their throats with a bread knife, even the baby.”
Anne flashes back several times throughout the movie to some pretty intense scenes: A woman slaps Anne’s hand repeatedly with a ruler while other children watch. A woman is shown pulling Anne’s ear as she grimaces in pain. An angry husband throws a plate on the floor and shatters it while Anne and the wife hide under the table.
use of substances: Anne accidentally gets her best friend Diana drunk during their tea time by giving her what she thinks is raspberry cordial but is currant wine. It’s totally innocent but Diana’s Mom forbids her to play with Anne.
positive messages: Learning is a wonderful thing. There is more than one way to think about things. There are consequences to our actions. Keeping your word is very important.
Good, bad, or in-between
The music and cinematography are simply fabulous. As a dreamer myself, I loved watching Anne get lost in her dreamy thoughts and how different personalities related to her. Anne causes others to think outside of the way things have always been. She reminds us that beauty and simple joys are all around us if we look for it. Several times I actually laughed out loud, especially after Anne’s interesting prayers!
To me, the movie did not follow the book perfectly, but I expected that. Marilla isn’t as gruff of a woman and Matthew Cuthbert isn’t as quiet of a man in this movie like they are in the book. Gilbert and Anne barely have a relationship. Only those who are book traditionalist will mind that all the details don’t line up. The movie clearly didn’t have as much depth as the book because it’s as if they tried to cram way too much in 90 minutes, but yet left so much out. The consolation is that it appears that the sequel movie goes more in depth and fleshes out what needs to be!
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I liked it so much that I can’t wait to watch the sequel, Anne of Green Gables, The Good Stars. Clean movies are hard to come by these days and this is definitely a keeper. I hope you enjoyed this family movie guide and find it helpful! I think you will fall in love with Anne all over again in this movie.
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