“James Bond” Franchise Helps Lower Philomena Rating

Over the years, James Bond has been tasked with many objectives, most of which involve Bond stopping an evil villain from stealing something valuable or destroying the world. It appears as if Agent 00...
“James Bond” Franchise Helps Lower Philomena Rating
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  • Over the years, James Bond has been tasked with many objectives, most of which involve Bond stopping an evil villain from stealing something valuable or destroying the world. It appears as if Agent 007 has grown bored of his usual routine, though. In a new video released by The Weinstein Company and FunnyorDie.com, James Bond (aka Daniel Craig) has used his influence to convince M to battle against the MPAA:

    So what beef does the British Secret Service have against the MPAA, a movie rating company? Recently, they had classified the movie Philomena as Rated R. According to the MPAA:

    “An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.”

    Philomena, the latest movie by The Weinstein Company about an Irish woman (played by Judi Dench) and a journalist (played by Steve Coogan) searching for the child Dench’s character was forced to put up for adoption, had recently received an R-rating due to its two uses of the F-bomb – usages which co-writer Steve Coogan states are critical:

    “Martin’s anger at the end, where he swears at this nun, has to be shocking because it has to contrast with the grace and serenity that Dame Judi as Philomena exhibits. That anger has to shock just to elevate her grace. Similarly, early on, when Martin swears about Catholics. It needs to be provocative, certainly to her, but we also see that she’s not shocked by the profanity, because she spent many years as a nurse, which is important for the audience to know.”

    Traditionally, any movie which uses the word “f*ck” receives an R-rating. However, TWC lawyer Bert Fields believes that this filter is too restricting:

    “The MPAA’s stance on language often proves itself to be too black and white, not taking into account a film’s overall subject matter. Philomena is one such instance. To put this film in the same category as sexually explicit and violent films would have been a disservice not only to the film but audiences as well…”

    And hence The Weinstein Company took the MPAA to court to sue for a reduced rating for the movie. Along with the legal effort, TWC released the FunnyorDie video (which has seemingly been removed…) in which Judi Dench reprises her role as M and gives an order to Agent 002 (Coogan) to “have a word with” the MPAA and persuade them to change the rating.

    Surprisingly for TWC (which has had several complaints surroundings its movies ratings before), this tactic worked and the MPAA lowered the rating of Philomena to PG-13. At the end of the day, Harvey Weinstein voiced how integral James Bond was in securing the victory:

    “We owe this victory to Barbara Broccoli, producer of the James Bond series, Daniel Craig, and Sam Mendes, who because of their relationship with Judi Dench, gave permission to spoof the ratings system using the M character. We know that went a long way into shedding light on the themes of the movie and the fact that the PG-13 rating was correct. We are glad the MPAA has a good sense of humor and with the cooperation of Barbara and her team, it was proven once again no one does it better than James Bond.”

    All of this leaves one wondering what is next on the plate for Bonds? Will we now use his services to fight all the good fights, such as taking up the mantle against CISPA or perhaps even overturning the legislation that makes cell phone unlocking illegal in the US? Whatever the issue, it appears that it is safe to state, “In Bond We Trust.”

    Image via YouTube

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