The latest brouhaha facing the questionable practices of the MPAA when it hands out ratings has once again come to the fore. This time it’s with assigning an “R” rating to The King’s Speech mostly, if not entirely, based on one small section were curse words are uttered. When contrasted with ratings given to other movies, it’s just one more black mark for the often dubious criteria the MPAA uses to assign a rating.
Here’s an article from the L.A. Times that lays out the current kerfuffle very well: To the MPAA ratings board, The King’s Speech is just as bad as Saw 3D.
In another entry here on this site, I suggested a modified method for calculating a film’s ratings: A New Movie Rating System.
Just for fun, let’s see what we can come up with. (Let’s keep in mind that I haven’t seen either film, so this is totally arbitrary. I have seen some of the “Saw” franchise previously, so I don’t think I’m totally in the dark regarding the likely contents of the film. I’m taking a lot of this from guesswork (which I’ll bias against TKS) and what was mentioned in the L.A. Times article. I encourage others who have seen both films to chime in with a more accurate evaluation.)
The King’s Speech: VM (08), LC (14), SK (12), DG (05); the average of the highest 2 = 13 years.
Saw 3D: VX (24), LV (16), SA (18), DI (18); the average of the highest 2 = 21 years.
Even if we ease up on Saw 3D‘s violence and sexuality scores, dropping them to VG (18) and SL (14), we get a top 2 average of 18. It’s really hard to see a way for The King’s Speech to in any way be considered on an age-appropriate par with Saw 3D unless there are bacchanalia scenes and/or a section with a serial killer in the former that the Times neglected to mention.
Personally, I think the MPAA methods need revamping. Too often big studios have gotten lower ratings than a lesser production company was able to cajole from the ratings star chamber with similar content. Since so many people depend on the ratings to guide them, it’s time that we try to inject some sanity and a semblance of objectivity to the proceedings.
If you agree, let others with some measure of clout in and around the industry hear what you have to say about it. With social media it’s never been easier to have your voices heard.