ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Simone (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: uAgust 24, 2002
CAP Score: 59
CAP Influence Density: 0.74

MinMax: -91

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

SIMONE (PG-13) -- but probably not because of what you might expect...

Production: Jersey Films, New Line Cinema, Niccol Films
Distribution: New Line Cinema
Director(s): Andrew Niccol
Producer(s): Bradley Cramp, Danny DeVito, Daniel Lupi, Andrew Niccol, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
Written by/Screenplay: Andrew Niccol
Cinematography/Camera: Derek Grover, Edward Lachman
Music: Carter Burwell
Film Editing: Paul Rubell
Casting: Francine Maisler, Jon Scott Strotheide
Production Design: Jan Roelfs
Art Direction: Sarah Knowles

Well, now! The second PG-13 in a row that indeed earned a "CAP PG-13" score. Simone earned a CAP final score of 59 which places it well within the range of scores in the comparative baseline database earned by PG-13 movies (55 to 67 out of 100). Though Simone is only five points above the range of scores for R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100), it is a "legitimate" PG-13 ... but probably not because of what you might expect from a movie boasting a poster with a nude woman on it partially covering herself with herself (which is why there is no boxart at the beginning of the Summary/Commentary). Rather, the strongest theft of points was due to drinking, drunkenness [Eph. 5:18, 1Cor. 6:9-10, Luke 1:15] and smoking [1 Cor. 6:19] which is clearly revealed in a glance of the CAP Thermometers, the most useful comparative tool available not only for elements within a movie but for comparisons between movies. Specifically, if you have a movie which you deem acceptable, compare the thermometers of an unseen movie to the thermometers of your standard and you will see a very reliable comparison of content. You can't lose if the thermometers and the listing in the Findings/Scoring section are both used to evaluate a movie before you see it. That Drugs/Alcohol is the lowest scoring indicating the highest presence provides the perfect lead-in to share with you another finding.

A recent study by the American College of Physicians revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in entertainment leads to an undeniable increase in adolescent use of these substances. Thirteen year old kids are adolescents, aren't they? The finding, entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol, reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% were under 14 years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. The report further states the prevalence of having tried smoking without parental knowledge was 35% for those with no restrictions on viewing R-rated movies, 12% for those with partial restrictions, and 2% for those with complete restrictions. The prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was 46% for those with no restrictions, 16% for those with partial restrictions and 4% for those with complete restrictions. Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say?

Let us keep the above paragraph in mind for a moment while I add to it. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and others have proven that violence in movies can and does begat aggression in youth ,>. The American College of Physicians has proven that viewing smoking and drinking in movies can and does increase the use of these substances in youth. Harvard educated child developmental expert, Dr. Karen Nelson agrees with me that any behavioral expression, good or bad, can be shaped by observation of behavior in entertainment. Doctor Larry Gilliam, a professional counselor and Dr. Nelson agree with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully comprehend the consequences of his/her actions or to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality. Even with all these facts we keep feeding subliminal behavior modification to our kids in and as entertainment. God Himself warns of "bad company" influencing good manners [1Cor. 15:33]. When are we going to listen?

Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino) tries his best to keep spoiled brat star actress Nicola Anders (Winona Ryder) from walking out of production of "Sunrise Sunset", Viktor's latest picture. But nothing will stop Anders. She's gone. And gone also is Viktor's job. Ex-wife and studio mogul, Elaine Christian (Catherine Keener) fired him simply because of money. Viktor is now a has-been. He once was an is-been with two Academy awards, but now he is not making the studio any money. Everyone is now aloof and distant from Viktor. Everyone except his daughter Lainey (Evan Rachel Wood). Lainey stands behind her father in a loving and supportive way all the way. It does seem odd that Miss Wood would perform in this sort of a motion picture which tickles the top of the CAP scoring range for R-rated movies. She also stars in Little Secrets (PG) which opened yesterday, August 23 which is purported to be a high moral value movie. I'll let you know. I viewed it today.

While loading his personal goods from his office, Viktor is met by Hank Aleno (Elias Koteas) with an amazing opportunity for Viktor. But Hank has an eye tumor and only one week to live. Viktor, not knowing who Hank is, puts him off and Hank dies without sharing his secret with Viktor. I'll not share with you what the amazing opportunity was in case you decide the ignominy we reveal is fit for you and/or your family but suffice it to say, appears Simone (Rachel Roberts). Simone is a beautiful and extremely talented actress quite capable of replacing the snotty Nicola. Indeed, Simone is perfect for the part. And perfect in every other way. Blemish free. Humble. Skilled. The works. So, Viktor finishes "Sunrise Sunset" with Simone as the lead and it becomes an overnight success.

Simone is, however, withdrawn. She never appears at parties, interviews or any other social gathering. She stays home and rarely even talks with anyone. Indeed, no one has reportedly ever seen her in person except Viktor. When she finally agrees to an interview, it must be by remote, never face-to-face. So successful is "Sunrise Sunset" that Viktor goes on to make more movies with Simone in the lead. Hit after hit brings Viktor back into the limelight ... but without Simone. She never appears in public with him either. She did appear in a special affair in front of 100,000 fans but was so far away from them she could have been a hologram and they would not have been able to tell. And if that is Rachel singing "Natural Woman", she is good.

The complexity of Simone gets increasingly detailed as the script moves through the plot but I will stop here and let you decide whether the movie is fit once you have read the truth about its content in the next paragraph and in the Findings/Scoring section.

Other than the major problem with drinking and smoking already noted, there are some sexual matters of likely concern to mom/dad. There is nudity - full nudity, more than once, however brief each time [**]. This is not a violent movie except when Simone gets non-graphically stage shot in "Sunrise Sunset", but Simone is representative of conversational snippet language a few times [Prov. 22:11, Titus 2:6-8]. One "fan" of Simone's, a tabloid tophat, is so enamored with her that when he investigates some matters about her, in her apartment he rolls on her bed, snuggles with her pillow, steals some of her underwear, kisses her toothbrush (which was earlier pulled out of the commode) and lays his hands on her toilet seat [1Pet. 4:3]. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will tell all I noted.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["...on wine" can be any intoxicating substance.]
  • 1 Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. [Speaking is the angel that appeared to Zechariah, promising Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth a son - John the Baptist, but it also says that not drinking aloholic beverages will find favor in the eyes of the Lord. Though it is not a sin to drink, God knows of our tendency to excess. And the "strong drink", or liquor of Jesus' day was less potent than our dry wine. What does that say about our liquor of up to 75% alcohol?]
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [Though 1 Cor 6:16 is speaking to fornication, the point is to do no harm to yourself: do no harm to the temple of Christ) ** "Nakedness" (display of nudity) is spoken of as dark, restricted, undesirable, shameful, etc. 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Titus 2:6-8 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
  • 1Pet. 4:3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do -living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Simone (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • gunshot (staged)
  • vehicular irresponsibility
  • "I wish you were dead. I wish were we were both dead."
  • fraud throughout

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • six uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • divorce
  • three men urinating in a restroom
  • deceit throughout
  • lying

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • excessive cleavage, repeatedly
  • sexual innuendo, talk, comments
  • picture nudity, repeatedly, once before young teen
  • sex request
  • attempt to seduce by physical aggression
  • perverted obsession
  • partial nudity
  • full nudity, brief
  • admission of sexual immorality for gain
  • exposed underwear

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • "Nudity is not an issue. Clothes are simply an option."
  • talk of godhood
  • 12 uses of god's name in vain but none with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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