Call Jane reminds audiences the stalk reality for women before legalized abortion. Check out the details in my parents guide movie review from Sundance 2022.
Call Jane premiered this week at the Sundance Film Festival 2022 and has created a buzz. The film stars Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver and is loosely based on true events surrounding the Jane Collective. Call Jane poses urgent questions about systemic barriers, the ever-shifting nature of politics, and the struggle for women to maintain control of their bodies. Check out the details in my parents guide movie review.
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Call Jane Parents Guide Review
Chicago, 1968. As a city and the nation are poised on the brink of violent political upheaval, suburban housewife Joy leads an ordinary life with her husband and daughter. When Joy’s pregnancy leads to a life-threatening condition, she must navigate a medical establishment unwilling to help. Her journey to find a solution to an impossible situation leads her to the “Janes,” a clandestine organization of women who provide Joy with a safer alternative — and in the process, change her life.
Call Jane Age Appropriate Parents Guide
Let’s take a look at what parents need to know before letting their kids watch Call Jane.
Language: Call Jane contains some strong language, with profanity used throughout. Lookout words include: f*ck, sh*t, a**, d*mn, and more.
Mature Content: The film contains very mature themes, such as unwanted pregnancies and abortion. Characters discuss ways to cause natural abortions, like throwing themselves down stairs and claiming to be suicidal. Couples are shown having sex, discussing sex, and other scenes include performing abortions. Other content includes characters smoking weed and consuming alcohol.
With the recent laws being passed in many Southern states, putting more and more restrictions on women and their right to receive abortions, a film like Call Jane could not have come at a better time. The movie is a stark reminder of what life was like for women before abortion was legalized. The film is loosely based on true events surrounding the Jane Collective, a secret organization that provided thousands of abortions for women during a four-year period before abortion was legalized.
Elizabeth Banks plays Joy, a pregnant housewife who seeks an abortion after a doctor reveals that her pregnancy may put her life at risk. Banks gives a stellar performance and brings many layers to her character, as she goes from a scared and naive housewife to a determined supporter of women’s rights over their own bodies. Sigourney Weaver plays Virginia, the headstrong leader of the Jane Collective, who guides Joy and many other women through their path to terminating their pregnancies. Aiding Virginia is Gwen, who is played by Loki star Wunmi Mosaku. My biggest complaint with the film was not utilizing the talented Mosaku in the film, whose character offers an intriguing perspective which could’ve aided in its messaging.
Call Jane also stars actress Kate Mara as Joy’s neighbor and friend. The subplot involving Mara’s character was a strange addition to the film that just didn’t work, and it aided in some of the film’s pacing issues. Director Phyllis Nagy takes the film in a more “feel good” direction while glossing over some important concepts regarding women’s reproductive rights, which are still so important half a century later. While the film brings awareness and takes viewers back to a time when women had little control over their own bodies, it never truly makes the viewer feel “uncomfortable” enough to drive the point. It’s like they wanted to shine a spotlight on abortion by reminding society of how it used to be, and how it could be again if SCOTUS decides to overturn Roe v. Wade, but they didn’t want to overly offend the pro-life crowd at the same time. In my opinion, if you are trying to make a point, one shouldn’t stand on a soapbox for one moment just to turn around and placate the opposition. Still, all in all, Call Jane is worth a watch, especially for those too young to remember a time before abortions were legal.
Call Jane Rating: 3.5 out of 5