Harvey Weinstein Fighting the MPAA Over R-Rating for 'Philomena'
by Ethan Anderton
November 7, 2013
Following a premiere at the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals earlier this year, Stephen Frears' heartwarming new drama Philomena is hitting limited theaters on Christmas Day and gets a wider release on January 10th. However, the film might be limited in its audience since the MPAA has given the film an R-rating because of "strong language." Well, Harvey Weinstein took to CBS News This Morning to make the fight for a PG-13 rating public. His case? Well, the rating is only because the word "fuck" is said twice in the film, and that just won't stand with the organization protecting our children from naughty language.
Here's the clip from CBS News This Morning with Harvey Weinstein discussing Philomena:
When it comes to a film like this, the anchor asks why it's so important to get a PG-13 rating for a film that seems like it's geared towards an audience that is well above 17 years old. Weinstein's perfect answer is that there's a certain group of people older than 17 who pay close attention to the film rating system and will not see an R-rated movie, specifically church-going families and other conservative people. The fact that a fight like this has to be made public in order for the MPAA to use common sense in their flawed rating system is unbelievable. Violence is left to roam free on TV without this strict policing, but two uses of profanity is unacceptable. Ludicrous doesn't even begin to describe the nature of issues like this.
Here's The Weinstein Company's intimidating message with a mission to stop the MPAA:
Also, if you'll look in the past, films like The Social Network and The Tourist got away with using "fuck" twice and still received PG-13 ratings. Just recently I had the misfortune of catching The Odd Couple II on TV, and Jack Lemmon spouts that very word twice as well, and that's a movie certainly geared towards an older audience that still got the PG-13 rating. Further back in time, movies like Big and Beetlejuice dropped the F-bomb and obtained a PG rating, and that was after the PG-13 rating was created. The MPAA has gotten too sensitive and controlling, but that's as an offshoot of a society that loves to complain about anything and everything. If the trailer is any indicator, this is not a film that needs to be censored from children, so the MPAA should just overturn their rating and let the film fly with a PG-13 rating.
Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) was sent away to a convent to be looked after as a "fallen woman". Taken from her at the age of 3, her son was "sold" in America. Forced to vow she would never seek him, Philomena fought her vow and spent the next 50 years searching for her lost son. With the help of journalist, Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), Philomena travels to America to find her lost son. Philomena is directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) and written by Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, based on Martin Sixsmith's book The Lost Child of Philomena. This premiered at the Venice & Toronto Film Festivals and will also play Mill Valley & Hamptons. TWC releases Philomena limited on November 22nd, expanding November 27th.