In the remote Western Australian community of Mount Barker, two brothers, Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton), live and raise sheep alongside each other. But they haven’t spoken to each other in decades because of a family feud.
Their brothers’ lives are turned upside down when Les’s award-winning ram is diagnosed with a rare and lethal disease, and all the sheep farmers in the community are ordered to destroy their flocks.
Colin and Les have very different ways of dealing with this threat to their existence. Will they be able to overcome their differences and ensure the survival of their prized sheep bloodline?
Family drama; dark comedy; Australian country life; family feuds
Rams has some violence. For example:
- When Les is drunk, he fires his gun at Colin’s house. Luckily, Colin is unharmed.
- Les verbally threatens Colin several times.
- Les the head of an employee of the Department of Agriculture with a shovel, knocking him out.
Rams has some sexual references. For example:
- Characters make some puns when they talk about a ram’s reproductive tasks – for example, ‘He will be a busy boy’.
- When a vet is examining the ram’s face, she says to her apprentice, ‘We like it rough and a little bit loose’. A breeder says, ‘Don’t we all?’
- There are a few close-up shots of a ram’s large scrotum and people feeling it with their hands.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Rams shows problematic use of alcohol. For example:
- Characters frequently drink socially.
- Les has a severe drinking problem. He starts the day by pouring whisky in his coffee.
- When Les is drunk, he isn’t in his right mind. He fires a gun at his brother.
- Les is so drunk that he collapses and gets a terrible sunburn.
- Les is found unconscious and needs to be hospitalised. He’s told to stay in hospital for about a week to deal with alcohol withdrawal.
Nudity and sexual activity
Rams has some nudity and sexual activity in this movie. For example, Les is shown in his underpants.
The following products are displayed or used in Rams: beer.
There is some coarse language in Rams.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Rams is an Australian interpretation of the Icelandic drama Rams (2015) by Grímur Hákonarson. Directed by Jeremy Sims and starring Australian icons Sam Neill and Michael Caton, this family comedy drama gives a touching insight into the lives of two estranged brothers and the wider farming and Australian country town community.
The serious themes, subtle comedy and relatively slow pace are likely to appeal most to a mature adult audience. Emotionally distressing themes, use of violence, coarse language and alcohol use make Rams unsuitable for viewers under 9 years, and we also recommend parental guidance for children aged 9-12 years.
The main message from this movie is that pride, defiance and grudges can get in the way of happiness.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include passion, personal growth, forgiveness, friendship, community, and the ability to focus on what’s important.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like using alcohol and anger to cope with personal problems. Are there better ways to deal with your problems?