In the 1970 film “Ryan’s Daughter” a young woman falsely accused of treason is attacked by members of her community. They cut off her hair, leaving her devastated. That scene still haunts me. Ever since then I have detested films depicting this particular outrage. It doesn’t go down any easier with this film. Although it is implied that the girl has had sex with an older man, she was simply seeking a loving relationship. Amy had no idea that he was merely using her. As Isabelle soon discovers, reacting with such brutality only serves to damage the girl and further distance mother and daughter. While this action is not done with exploitive purposes, but serves to illustrate Isabelle’s hidden anguish, it remains a very difficult scene to watch.
Due to this scene and one featuring a rendezvous between teacher and student, where he gets the innocent girl to take off her clothes, I certainly would not recommend the film for family viewing. Admittedly, that scene is well done, with the director careful to keep the camera only on the girl’s face, but it is still erotic and, at the same time, due to the creepiness of the teacher, despicable.
“Amy and Isabelle” is a well-acted presentation, with a message of healing relationships and acceptance of the weaknesses of others, but I found it depressing and unfulfilling. And if you are looking for any spiritual awareness in the film – forget it. Although Isabelle is a church attendee, when the ladies at choir practice discover the daughter’s sex scandal, Isabelle is quickly ostracized. Once more, a Hollywood production features Christians as hypocritical and unfeeling. Now, we all can remember situations where that is the case. I’m sure, if we are honest, we will conjure up instances where we found ourselves overlooking Christ’s commandment to love one another. But by Hollywood’s standard, you’d think there was nothing to Christianity. The media prefers to showcase man’s inconsistencies rather than portray the life-altering effect Christ has on those seeking a relationship with God.