Story

In Looking for Grace, Grace (Odessa Young) and her friend Sappho (Kenya Pearson) take a bus trip from Perth to Ceduna in South Australia, supposedly to see a death metal band. They steal thousands of dollars from Grace’s parents’ safe and leave home without telling their families. Along the way a young man, Jamie (Harry Richardson), gets on the bus and the three make friends straight away. Grace and Jamie are attracted to each other, and Sappho feels left out. She decides to go home, and Grace and Jamie spend a night in a motel. But Jamie leaves early in the morning, taking Grace’s money with him.

Grace is left alone, without any money and scared. She sets off along the road by herself. Meanwhile her parents Denise (Radha Mitchell) and Dan (Richard Roxburgh) hire a retired private detective, Tom (Terry Norris), to help them find her. They eventually do find Grace, but they also find out a lot about their own relationship along the way.

Themes

Runaway teens; relationships; infidelity

Violence

There is little violence in Looking for Grace, but one of the main characters is hit by a double semi-trailer. Nothing is shown, just the sound of the crash and everyone running to the scene.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
Nothing of concern

From 5-8
In addition to the scene mentioned above, there are some other scenes in Looking for Grace that could upset children in this age group. For example, when Grace is on her own she finds an isolated garage, in which there’s a car. She gets inside the car to sleep but hears noises in the night and is obviously afraid.

From 8-13
In addition to the violent and disturbing scenes mentioned above, there are some scenes in Looking for Grace that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Tom has an epileptic fit in bed.
  • The final scene after the character is hit by the semi-trailer is quite drawn out. It follows the characters as they wait at the hospital for news and travel behind the ambulance to Perth. Along the way the ambulance pulls over and turns its lights off, because the person has obviously died.

Over 13
Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

Looking for Grace has some sexual references. For example:

  • One of the girls says her mother has big breasts. Another girl says that she has never slept with a boy.
  • A friend of Denise’s speculates that Grace might have been raped or murdered.
  • Denise tells Grace that she had a baby at 17, which she gave up for adoption. She’s never told Dan. 
  • Dan and a woman go to a hotel room to have sex. They kiss and try to have sex but can’t because Dan is too overcome by guilt.
  • Tom tells Dan that his sister is a lesbian.
  • Tom and Dan talk about being unfaithful to their wives and say that they’ve both tried but failed because they felt guilty. Dan says he can’t stop thinking about sex.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Looking for Grace shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Characters drink wine at dinner.
  • Tom and Dan smoke.

Nudity and sexual activity

Looking for Grace has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Grace and Jamie sit on a bed in a motel room. They kiss and Jamie removes Grace’s top. She is seen naked from the back. The scene suggests that they go on to have sex.
  • Tom pinches his wife’s bottom and pushes her onto the bed, but she isn’t in the mood.
  • Dan and a woman kiss passionately and try to have sex, but Dan can’t because he feels guilty.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Looking for Grace: Golden Gaytimes, Drumsticks, Cornettos, Kit Kats and Coca-Cola.

Coarse language

Looking for Grace has quite a lot of coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Looking for Grace is a long drawn-out drama. The story is told from several different perspectives, but it’s the same story repeated several times. The content makes it more suitable for older teenagers and the story raises some interesting discussion points, but it might not hold the attention of many teenage viewers.

The main messages from this movie are that life is often complex and that things aren’t always as they seem.

Ideas in this movie that you could discuss with your children include the often far-reaching and irreversible consequences of your actions. You could also talk about questions like the following:

  • Why does Grace run off in the first place without telling her parents?
  • Grace believes the money she steals belongs to her just as much as it belongs to her parents. Is this true?