Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Source: Catholic News Service
Deeply disturbing but hypnotic story set in 18th-century France about an orphan (Ben Wishaw) -- impoverished and abused but gifted with an extraordinary sense of smell -- who apprentices to a perfumer (Dustin Hoffman), after which -- incapable of normal love -- he becomes a serial killer in his quest to capture the scents of his young female victims, ultimately targeting the virginal daughter (Rachel Hurd-Wood) of a wealthy merchant (Alan Rickman) desperate to protect her. Director Tom Tykwer's artful adaptation of Patrick Suskind's 1985 best-seller shows sensitivity in telling a story which could be utterly repellent in other hands, and without justifying the terrible deeds, succeeds in illuminating the protagonist's strange motivation with Christian compassion. Reasonably restrained in its violence, the film will clearly not be to every taste and should be approached with caution. Aberrant violence including murder and bloodshed, partial nudity, an unflattering ecclesiastical character, and a climax involving mass eroticism with long-shot nudity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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