MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2

When times are tough during economic depressions, families struggle to get by, often being pushed to the breaking point. Such is the case for the family of young Liam (Anthony Burrows), a boy growing up during such a depression in early 20th century Great Britain. At the outset of the film, Liam’s father (Ian Hart) still has work, while many others struggle to get by without consistent employment. However, the factory where he works soon closes. Even though the family paid into the charity fund at their church, Dad refuses to take a handout, even when Mum (Claire Hackett) begs him to. Now, the only family member really working is Liam’s older sister Teresa (Megan Burns), who’s a housekeeper for a prominent Jewish family in the area. As the family struggles to get by, Liam prepares for his first communion and confession in the Catholic Church. And while tension continues to rise in the household, Liam must come to grips with who he is before God. LIAM appears to capture the period accurately, really taking the audience into not only the working class neighborhoods of these people, but also into their religious lives, full of symbols and icons. Due to its limited release and publicity, the film should gain a small measure of success at the box office.

Several scenes follow Liam into the church classroom as he learns about preparing himself for his first confession/communion. The methods generally employed for Liam and the boys in his class capitalize on the fear that grips their young minds as the teacher and the priest talk about the horrors of hell. Although Liam basically ignores the lectures on sin and punishment at first, he begins to listen more carefully after seeing his mother completely naked, in a scene with full female frontal nudity. Worried about punishment for sin, Liam thinks back about the event as he goes to confession. Seven-year-old Liam struggles with seeing his mother naked and what it might mean, but eventually comes to grip with it. Along with the once scene of nudity, the film includes a few obscenities and several regular profanities. Foul language and gratuitous frontal nudity in LIAM spoil an otherwise engrossing character study.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Lions Gate Films, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 501, LA, CA 90036

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times – All Moderate

Obscene Language: Few (4) times - F-word 2, s-word 2

Profanity: Many (10) times – Regular 8 (For C sake 1, For G sake 7); Exclamatory 2 (OMG)

Violence: Few times – Mild and Moderate (man slapped, boy pulled by the ear, woman burned, man burns hand)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times (full female nudity in classic artwork, full frontal as woman gets into bathtub)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Many times (cigarette smoking, alcohol)

Other: Man spits on another; man vomits; lots of Roman Catholic theology including teaching on sin and confession

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.