Saturday, January 28, 2017

Some BBFC nerdiness at the Oscar nominations.

Hey Em, don't make it sad. Take a shite batch of Oscar nominations and make it better! With BBFC stats and shiz, of course.
- Elle got its BBFC rating this week, unsurprisingly given its dicey subject matter, an 18. This means that the last three 18-rated Oscar-nominated roles in Best Actress in a Leading Role: Huppert as Michelle Leblanc (2017), Rosamund Pike as Amazing Amy (2015) and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander (2012), all pertain to women who take unorthodox, shall we say, measures against men who have wronged them.

Furthermore, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Elle feature rape as fairly prominent, pervasive plot points, and Gone Girl features allegations of rape.

- As mentioned in my reaction post, all four of the films Michelle Williams has received nominations for: Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, My Week with Marilyn and Manchester by the Sea, are in 15-rated films.

- With her nomination for Lion, all four of the films Nicole Kidman has received nominations for: Moulin Rouge!, The Hours (which she won for), Rabbit Hole and Lion came in PG-13 rated films. Note that this isn't true of 12A in the UK, as Lion is just a PG over here. I haven't seen Lion yet so when I don't know if it's the US being strict or the UK being laissez-faire, I defer to the IFCO in a best of three-type judgment call. The Irish concurred with the British in this case, with this:

Interestingly, the MPAA's insight for their PG-13 rating read 'thematic material and some sensuality'. 'Sensuality' in MPAA-speak basically means kissing, and seeing as the film posters all across London has Dev Patel facing Rooney Mara horizontally, it doesn't take a genius to work out that they're doing the kissing in question. (Sidebar: what a gorgeous couple!!!)

Rooney Mara is literally the prettiest

However, it's interesting that the Irish insight, nor the British one, which has this PG for 'mild threat, scenes of emotional distress' don't flag the kissing anywhere. The MPAA be tripping over a kiss!

- With her nomination for Fences, all three of the films Viola Davis has received nominations for: Doubt, The Help and Fences are also all PG-13 in the States. Once again, the same isn't true of the 12A over here, for, rather than the Lion scenario, where we awarded it the rating below, Doubt is a 15.

Although a soft 15, I can understand why the BBFC gave Doubt a 15, given it surrounds the allegations of abuse of a young boy under a Catholic priest (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Interestingly, the issue that made the BBFC push the rating up to 15 was the ambiguous reaction of the mother of the boy (played by Davis) when she is told of these allegations.

Sidebar again: Doubt also earned Oscar nominations for Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. One gave a beautifully restrained, intelligent and sensitive performance this year and deserved a Best Actress nomination.

The other's Meryl Streep.

The Lion and Doubt both being PG-13s in the States but not 12A over here shows that the PG-13 =/= a 12A here always. It's counterpart from the BBFC can range from a PG to a 15!

- Holy smokes, just realised! All five of Amy Adams' nominated roles (in Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master and American Hustle) were in 15-rated films! That would explain why she didn't get nominated this year; she has to be in a 15 to get nominated! That, and the Batman v Superman thing.

This 'Amy Adams needs to be in 15s to get an Oscar nomination' conspiracy theory sounds nutty, but it would explain why she didn't get nominated in 2015 for Best Actress for 12A-rated Big Eyes, which she'd done reasonably well with at precursors, including winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy.

Nerd alert, on another level: when the Oscar nominations came out in 2015, she might have been hoping to hear her name, and had her dreams quashed when she heard 'Marion Cotillard, 2 Days, 1 Night' instead (the nominations come alphabetically by surname). Well, this year, it was deja vu in that a French actress' name was announced first, where Amy might have been expecting to hear her's, thus killing her dream. 😳

- Not that she was nominated this year, but both the Oscar-nominated films Rooney Mara was in in 2016, Kubo and the Two Strings and Lion (you can tell I'm thirsty to talk about Rooney and the Oscars in any way possible, can't you?) are both PG-rated.

Both Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum were in Hail, Caesar!. Only one actually had lines beyond, 'it's my job', however.

- There is one category where all five films nominated are the same rating, 12A: Production Design. The nominated pictures be Amy Adams was Snubbed for ____, Blah Blah Land, Jonah Hill only in it for five seconds even tho they stuck him on the poster, Didn't watch because Jennifer Lawrence was being hammy in the trailer and Fantastic Oscar-beggers and Where to Find Them.

Arrival and La La Land could easily have been PGs, but the writers shoe-horned a single use of the f-word in both films to obtain the more lucrative PG-13 certificate, a practice that is becoming increasingly prevalent.

I don't mind random utterances of the f-word when the film is going to get a PG-13 anyway, like The Martian with all those grisly close-ups of Matt Damon's injuries (and given Damon's character's circumstances, he was justified to swear a bit!), but the two instances of the f-words uttered (by Jeremy Renner and Ryan Gosling) in Arrival and La La Land felt so contrived. Renner said it at a moment when he wasn't under all that much pressure, and Gosling said it as a response to a fairly inoffensive question his girlfriend was asking him.

Fortunately, in Arrival's case, the forced use of the f-word didn't detract from the high quality of the film overall.

In LLL's case, it was one of the many things wrong with the film.

- Of the acting categories, the closest one to having all the performances of the same BBFC rating is Supporting Actor, where four of the performances (Hedges, Shannon, Bridges and Ali) are in 15-rated films. The exception is Dev Patel, in PG-rated Lion.

Hmm, that's all I can think of for now, but if I think of anything other fascinating pieces of trivia (fascinating to me, that is), about the BBFC & this year's nominations, I will update this post! More geeking out over the BBFC here!

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