What You Need To Know:
42 UP contains three mild profanities and two mild obscenities, as well as scenes of smoking, people drinking in a tavern, and brief scenes of people gambling at the dog races. There is no nudity or sexuality, but there are several conversations about failed marriages, one couple choosing to live together unmarried and one brief discussion of infidelity. However, the bad consequences of these actions are not hidden. There are also many redeeming conversations about love, commitment, appreciation for parents and children, miraculous restorative faith, and a scene of one of the subjects praying in church. Thus, 42 UP is a good movie designed to attract older children and adults.
(BB, CC, Re, L, A, D, M) Moral worldview with some Christian elements including redemptive conversations & reference to miraculous faith; 3 mild profanities & 2 mild obscenities, plus discussion of failed marriages & brief allusion to one instance of adultery; no violence; no sex, but one couple chooses to live together & brief allusion to adultery; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, gambling & evidence of the British class system.
42 UP is an intriguing documentary chronicling the lives of a group of British-born 42-year-olds who have been visited by a film crew every seven years since the age of seven (1964). Michael Apted produced and directed all but the first of this series of movies, with each movie revealing the latest twists and turns of these everyday people. Viewers listen and watch as their youthful hopes and dreams are contrasted with the realities of the present, including their personal failures, losses, joys, and successes.
The movie contains three mild profanities and two mild obscenities, as well as scenes of smoking, people drinking in a tavern, and brief scenes of people gambling at the dog races. There is no nudity or sexuality, but there are several conversations about failed marriages, one couple choosing to live together unmarried and a brief allusion to one case of infidelity. However, the consequences of these actions are not hidden but uniquely shown. There are also many redeeming conversations about love, commitment, children being a blessing, miraculous restorative faith, and a scene of one of the subjects praying in church.
Amazingly, viewers do not have to be familiar with the previous movies (7 UP, 21 UP, 28 UP, and 35 UP) to fully enjoy 42 UP. The movie devotes time to each individual, showing clips from all the other interviews and creating an engrossing collage of changing lives. Despite some technical shortcomings, the movie pulls the audience in and fascinates viewers with the shifting views of each maturing individual, which are sometimes surprising and usually amusing. What also makes this documentary truly captivating are the discoveries and lessons learned and shared openly by these people.
Older audiences will appreciate the stages of life shown in 42 UP, likely identifying with several of the subjects and their experiences. Younger audiences will hear about the value of relationships, the struggles and blessings of marriage, and – particularly in 42 UP – the appreciation for parents. One of the strongest themes which surfaces is that many people in the 42 UP group have recently lost their aging parents. It is moving to listen to these 42-year-olds honestly express regrets and love for their mothers and fathers.
One of the persons, responding to the mention of a failed relationship in her life, comments that life is “not like in the movies.” Ordinarily, that would be true, but with 42 UP, real lives are examined and highlights are captured. Also, viewers are reminded about the good and positive messages which can come out of this powerful medium. One woman in the group even speaks out on the lack of values in modern life, including “the lack of respect for anything.”
This may be an odd assortment of “home movies,” but, believe it or not, most viewers likely will come to care about these people and anxiously await the next installment, due out seven years from now.