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Parents Guide

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MPAA Rated R for moments of extremely graphic sexuality

Sex & Nudity

  • Baines (Harvey Keitel) allows Ada (Holly Hunter) to play her piano in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Baines often touches or looks sexually at Ada. In one scene, he lies under her dress so he can see underneath.
  • Baines cleans the piano in the nude. His bare buttocks are visible for a long time. His genitals are also seen.
  • Baines is shown fully nude when he exposes himself to Ada. His genitals can be clearly seen. Full frontal male nudity.
  • Ada is shown fully nude (breasts, buttocks, pubic hair are shown). She lies on a bed with Baines, who is also fully nude (his buttocks are shown). He rolls on top of her as Ada's young daughter Flora spies on them from the outside.
  • Ada caresses Stewart's bare buttocks. He moans.

Violence & Gore

  • During a play, fake severed heads are shown, but these are used comically.
  • A brief animated scene shows a man being struck by lightning.
  • A girl attempts to poke a dog with a stick.
  • A woman slaps a man multiple times before kissing.


  • 3-4 uses of ''ass'' and 1-2 uses of ''bastard'' by subtitles.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • There is some alcohol drinking occasionally.

Frightening & Intense Scenes


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Sex & Nudity

  • Baines and Ada begin kissing and undress each other. Baines moves under Ada's skirt and performs oral sex, whilst she moans quietly. They lie in bed fully nude (her breasts, buttocks and pubic hair are seen as well as his buttocks) and they have simulated sex, with thrusting and moaning. Very graphic.
  • Stewart attempts to rape Ada when he is interrupted.
  • Stewart attempts to rape Ada, but he stops himself.

Violence & Gore

  • Stewart (Sam Neill) cuts off Ada's (Holly Hunter) index finger with an axe to deprive her of the ability to play the piano. Despite the act, Ada didn't scream in pain. Her daughter (Anna Paquin) is watching and screams when blood splatters in her face and her shirt. We see Stewart holding the finger and Ada's bleeding stump. Shocking and bloody.
  • Ada attempts suicide near the end. The Maoris push her piano off the boat they are on and Ada puts her foot in the rope which pulls her underwater. She ends up running out of air and struggling but she changed her mind. This gives her enough time to get out of the water. She then survives.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The scene where Stewart cuts off Ada's finger is quite frightening.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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