Sunday, October 16, 2016

Biggest disparity between the BBFC and the IFCO?

Slight disparities between a rating awarded to a movie by the BBFC, and the IFCO, their Irish counterpart, is nothing new. After all, Irish and British sensibilities aren't identical. 

So, for example, When Marnie Was There was a PG in Ireland (as it was in the States), and a U over here. Eddie the Eagle was a 12A in Ireland and a PG over here. Irrational Man was a 15A (the Irish equivalent of a 'soft' 15) in Ireland and a 12A over here. High-Rise was a 16 in Ireland for cinematic release and an 18 on DVD (the Irish don't have a 16 on DVD), whereas it was a 15 over here. Bad Grandpa was an 18 in Ireland and a 15 over here.

On the flipside, films that the Irish have been more permissive with include Belle, a PG in Ireland and the States, and a 12A over here (the scene that got the film its 12A rating pertained to Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy, being villainous). The Shallows was a 12A in Ireland and a 15 (absurdly) over here. And Gone Girl, an 18 over here, was a 16 in Ireland for cinematic release and then 15 on DVD.

In all of these instances, what is noticeable is that the difference in rating is by one BBFC rating (i.e. one increment between U, PG, 12A, 15, 18).

So imagine my surprise when I opened up my season 2 DVD of The Vicar of Dibley, and spotted this:

That's a difference by two whole ratings!! I can't really see what would cause such a big discrepancy in opinion. 

The Vicar of Dibley, a very warm, amusing show that exhibits Dawn French's impeccable comic timing, has a script which is laden with innuendo, featuring plays on words pertaining to sexual references and strong language. Some of the risqué humour is more suited at 12-level (which some of the DVDs are rated), but I have yet seen anything in the show that suggests 15-rated humour. 

Particularly if you compare it to episodes of Friends, where the sexual dialogue is much more in your face and crude, and 12A-rated films like Paper Towns and About Time, where the characters are constantly talking about masturbation (the former) and BJs (the latter).

So I'm fairly perplexed at what the Irish thought was 15-rated about The Vicar of Dibley. Maybe the religious jokes??

Anyway, I will keep a beady eye out for more gulfs in rating between my two favourite rating bodies! If I find a film we've rated PG and the Irish rated 18, then consider my day made!!



Golden Geek said...

Wrinkles is an interesting one - 15 by the BBFC for strong language (one use of 'motherf***er' and two of 'f***'), but PG by IFCO for mild innuendo.

Emma said...

Hey Golden Geek! Did not know about that! Did the Irish not hear the f-words then or something? Because I would have thought they would at least have flagged them!

Unknown said...

Tokyo Raiders, The Cider House Rules and The In Crowd are all BBFC 12/IFCO 18. Many other films are BBFC PG/IFCO 15 (the original release of Jaws and I Capture The Castle, for example).

However, two certificates higher or lower is as far as it goes, I'm afraid. According to IMDB, 3 Ninjas Kick Back is a U in UK and 15 in Ireland, but I have yet to find any evidence of this. The re-release is G in Ireland, and I haven't been able to find any pictures of the 2001 DVD release.

Brilliant blog post! This sort of thing really interests me. Sounds sad and geeky but I don't give a damn if you enjoy it who cares what others think...?

Anonymous said...

The same happened with Star Trek (original series) season 2 disc 2. And The Simpsons season 2 disc 1 has a U BBFC rating and a 12 IFCO rating!