Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Another Bad Call from the MPAA

posted by Nell Minow

The ultra-violent “Saw 3D” gets an R. The ultra-explicit and disgusting “Jackass 3D” gets an R. But how does “The King’s Speech” get an R? This is an acclaimed historical drama about the King of England (Colin Firth) who has to have speech therapy to help his stutter. As a vocal exercise, he has to say some bad words. And so it gets an R rating. The LA Times’ Patrick Goldstein has an excellent article about the arbitrariness of the MPAA’s rules and the outrageous results.

To call the decision crazy and unhinged would be to let the MPAA off too lightly. Its ratings decisions, which frown on almost any sort of sex, frontal nudity or bad language but have allowed increasing amounts of violence over the years, are horribly out of touch with mainstream America, where families everywhere are disturbed by the amount of violence freely portrayed in movies, video games and hip-hop music.

Advertisement

He quotes Tom Hooper, director of “The King’s Speech.”

“What I take away from that decision,” says Hooper, “is that violence and torture is OK, but bad language isn’t. I can’t think of a single film I’ve ever seen where the swear words had haunted me forever, the way a scene of violence or torture has, yet the ratings board only worries about the bad language.”

And he quotes me:

[T]he ratings board judges violence on a far more amorphous and clearly subjective sense of overall tone. That discrepancy sets up the MPAA for all sorts of criticism, much of which has come from Nell Minow, a corporate governance expert whose must-read Movie Mom blog has frequently taken the MPAA to task for its inconsistencies.

Advertisement

“The ratings decision on ‘The King’s Speech’ is just another example of how completely out of touch and useless the guidance is that we get from the MPAA,” Minow told me Monday. “The one thing we want from them is a general sense of where a movie fits into our family values. But by putting ‘The King’s Speech’ in the same ratings category as ‘Kill Bill’ or ‘Scarface’ or ‘Saw,’ then it really makes a mockery of the whole system.”

  • Rach

    I fully agree, the MPAA frequently missed the mark on many movies. There have been movies that we have seen that were rated G and PG and should have been PG13 and then those that were PG13 (example School of Rock)that could have been PG, then some as G. We don’t rely on the MPAA rating, we rely on the movie mom. :)

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Rach, you made my day! Many thanks!

  • Joe Peck

    I couldn’t agree more. The ratings system is so broad you don’t really know what you are getting. One of the biggest frustrations I’ve had is finding great movies that appeal to me as a grown up but don’t have gratuitous content. Just because you don’t want to watch “Saw” doesn’t mean that you do want to watch “The Apple Dumpling Gang”, you know?
    Nell, if you don’t mind me saying, I’ve just recently learned about you and your quest to help people navigate their way through the ratings system to find appropriate entertainment. This is way overdue! I’m extremely interested in talking to you about my production company, Impeckable Films. We are dedicated to creating highly entertaining feature films that are devoid of gratuitous content. I believe many movie goers love great stories but get disappointed and frustrated with gratuitous content. I think we need a brand that provides the kind of movies that people want, knowing they won’t get any content they don’t want. If there’s a chance we could chat, I think you could be an amazing champion for what we are doing. Keep up the great work!
    Joe Peck
    joe@impeckable.com

Previous Posts

Trailer: Glitch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z736c3pXb7w ...

posted 8:00:39am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Tonight on PBS: A Capitol Fourth with Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, and KC and the Sunshine Band
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IQqWgdF1z0[/youtube] Tune in tonight to watch A Capitol Fourth on PBS, featuring Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, Alabama, and Lang Lang, and hosted by Bradley Whitford. And ...

posted 12:00:57pm Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Marvin Gaye Sings the Star Spangled Banner
Happy 4th of July! [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/34606761[/vimeo] ...

posted 8:38:56am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Declaration of Independence -- Happy 4th of July!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETroXvRFoKY ...

posted 7:00:25am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

For the 4th of July: Singing Founding Fathers in "1776"
Happy Independence Day!  Every year, I recommend the rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence. "1776" makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already ...

posted 8:00:01am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.