Story

This is a gentle story about a small southern town and the people in it. The town used to be a thriving metropolis. Its wealth came from a large tobacco industry, but the town has declined along with the industry. Now many of the young people have left, and there are few jobs and very little new development.

Miss Georgiana Carr (Ellen Burstyn) owns a large house and an old tobacco warehouse, which she rents so that she can cover her expenses. But she’s running out of money and might have to sell her house. She was born in the house and it’s the only place that she has ever lived, so she is extremely upset at the prospect. Desperate for money, she doesn’t ask any questions about who rents the warehouse.

Georgiana rents her warehouse to Gus Leroy (Colin Firth), who works for a company that stores hazardous waste. Not only will he pay Georgiana more money that she has received in the past, but he also wants to extend the lease. This means she can keep her house. In the meantime, he has talked to the mayor about a controversial plan to save the town by building a waste disposal plant.

This scenario sparks several stories that are interwoven throughout the movie. These involve Gus, Georgiana, Georgiana’s niece Willa (Patricia Clarkson), a young policeman called Harris (Orlando Bloom), and Mary (Amber Tamblyn), the girl he wants to be with. Ultimately there’s an incident related to the waste disposal that makes all of them reassess their lives.

Themes

Ageing; change; ethical living; hazardous waste disposal

Violence

None of concern

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

Nothing of concern

From 8-13

Nothing of concern

Over 13

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie has some use of substances. For example:

  • Some of the characters smoke cigarettes.
  • The adults drink wine with their meal.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

Ideas to discuss with your children

Main Street is an unusual movie that could almost be written for theatre. It’s about how change can make people rethink their own lives.

The main message from this movie is that you need to think about the impact of your work, rather than just doing a job for the pay.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include family loyalty, and the importance of doing what’s right. You could also talk about the problems associated with hazardous waste and its disposal.