MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

In the winter of 1838 Elisabeth (Sophie Marceau), a poor girl from Switzerland, agrees to bear a child for a wealthy stranger in exchange for the payment of her father's large debt. During their secretive three night rendezvous, a spark of romance complicates the situation. But the urgency for secrecy demands that the two strangers go their separate ways. Never having the opportunity to hold her daughter, Elizabeth begins a seven year search for the her long lost child. Discovering that the wealthy stranger is a sheep farmer named Charles Goodwin (Stephen Dillane), Elizabeth applies and accepts the position of governess to her newly found daughter, Luisa. Living with the painful realization that she can never let Luisa know who she really is, Elisabeth begins the difficult task of teaching the spoiled girl how to read. Meanwhile, Charles is torn between his rekindled romance with Elizabeth and his duty as a husband to his invalid wife, who has been in a coma for the past ten years. This beautiful romance is well written, and tugs at the heart quite effectively. But, the slow pace of the film and the lack of action make Firelight a film that will appeal mostly to female audiences.

Firelight has some positive elements, including the importance of an education and characters sincerely praying to God. It is also void of the violent images that would make it into R rated films. But, unfortunately, the film is tainted with explicit sexual content. Extra-marital sex is subtly condoned, but not glorified. And while there is very little sensual passion during Firelight's four sex scenes, female breast nudity plays an active part in most of them. The passion that does occur is sparked from sexual relations, but doesn't actually dominate the bedroom scenes. Instead, this passion is seen in the brisk everyday meetings between the two lovers. Also, Charles is shown exiting a lake completely nude but obscured through several dirty panes of glass. Further, the producer felt it necessary to insert one f -word and one moderate crudity. Although Charles shows a genuine concern for his duty as a husband, he contemplates ending his wife's life. It is unfortunate that this beautiful love story is marred with sex, nudity and one f-word. Otherwise it would be an excellent date movie.

Preview Reviewer: Rik Wyrick
Buena Vista Pictures, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

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: Once Moderate

Obscene Language: Once (f-word)

Profanity: None

Violence: Once Mild (girls splashed in face with ink)

Sex: Few times (couple in bed with breast nudity)

Nudity: Few times (breast nudity with couple in bed; once obscured male frontal nudity); Implied: Few times (man exits water after swimming nude, couple in bed)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (mild reference to sex)

Drugs: None

Other: Man contemplates letting wife freeze to death, childbirth scene modestly portrayed, extra-marital sex subtly condoned

Running Time: 115 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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