Discussion Questions

1. What did you think about the movie?
2. Some have called this film a fable, a parable, a "moral tale." What is the message(s) of the film? What big questions does this film address?
3. Who is the intended audience? Is this film aimed at a particular group – age, race, class, gender, religion?
4. What are the chief images, significant symbols, driving metaphors, or dominant themes of the film? Images: tattoo, signifies her as rebellious, bland cigarette addiction, not valuing health, stress apple/ toothbrush flours, cakes and biscuits Symbol: Harold's apartment, plain, cleanDriving metaphor: watch, routine, monotony, constancy Dominant theme: love as healing, changing, obsession with the 'small stuff'
5. What other texts come to mind as you reflect on this movie? What novels or short stories?
6. How would you describe Harold Crick in the beginning of the story? Do you identify with him? Why or why not? Does he have a mental illness perhaps Obsessive Compulsive Disorder??
7. “Death and Taxes” begins with: “This is a story about a man named Harold Crick and his wristwatch.” What role does the wristwatch play?
8. What does the film say about therapy? What does it say about art or love as healing forces?
9. What role does Prof. Jules Hilbert play in Harold’s process of awakening?
10. What role does Ana Pascal play in Harold’s process of awakening?
11. What did you notice about the music in this film? What role does the guitar play in Harold’s life?
12. Although this movie turns out to be a comedy, it is premised upon a novel entitled "Death and Taxes." What messages does it deliver about death?
13. The two seminal questions in the film are these: “What would you do if you knew for sure that you were going to die?" and “You’re asking me to knowingly face my death?” How does the film deal with these questions?
14. How does Kay Eiffel’s personality contrast with Harold’s? Why might this contrast be significant?
15. How did meeting Kay change Harold? How did meeting Harold change Kay? What do you make of this relationship?
16. What spiritual elements did you see in this film? In what way is Kay god-like? In what ways is she not?
17. Are Helm and Forster suggesting that the life best lived is the one that yields to the workings of providence or the one that fights against the tyranny of fate?
18. What does this film say about sacrificial love?
19. What does this film say about the ordinary, mundane events of everyday life?