Sunday, September 02, 2018

Sharp Objects gets rated 18 by the BBFC

I finished reading Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects this week. The book has been turned into an 8-part HBO miniseries, and although I’m yet to watch it, it had very much been on my radar due to the expert way it had been marketed: ‘From the director of Big Little Lies, from the producers of Get Out, from the author of Gone Girl, and starring Amy Adams’. Any semi-cineliterate individual will know that that is a killer recipe for success.

Killer’ being the operative word. The plot revolves around a journalist, Camille Preaker (Amy Adams), who returns to her stifling Missouri hometown to investigate the disappearance of two young girls in the town. Having a tonne of baggage herself, including strained relationships with her frosty mother, the investigation causes Camille to revisit some of her demons, including the death of her beloved sister Marian, a death she never got over.

One of the main thoughts I had when reading the 251 pages was ‘this has to be an 18’. I just couldn’t see how they could show some of the scenes being described without it being an 18. The book is hella twisted, with levels of depravity that make Gone Girl look like Frozen.

That being said, mainstream 18-rated films and TV shows are a rare commodity these days. As I lamented, the latest Simon from The Inbetweeners vehicle (I saw him a second time last week!) had the crudest stuff cut to ascertain a 15, and The Equalizer 2 had some gory injury detail sanitised to get the more lucrative 15 rating.

Not to mention that the 15 rating is having an increasingly high tolerance for adult content. Red Sparrow and Big Little Lies are two recent examples of multimedia that would have been cut for 18 under the Ferman era, let alone get a 15.

So whilst Sharp Objects definitely read like a strong, 18-rated TV show, I wasn’t sure it would necessarily get that rating.

Thankfully, it seems my BBFC senses were accurate in this case. My friend found this in the PlayStation store:

So, Sharp Objects follows in Gone Girl’s footsteps in getting that rare 18 rating, which should be a badge of honour in itself! It is true that it’s hard to get 18s these days, but in Sharp Objects, there is a lot of disturbing content involving thirteen year old girls, and harm (or adult activities) involving minors is one of the BBFC’s bug-bears, so that 18 rating sure is sensible.

The 18 certificate is on the PlayStation store but there isn’t an entry on the BBFC website, nor their Twitter, for Sharp Objects yet. I imagine they’ll tweet it at some point in the upcoming few weeks. But this unusual scenario allows me to try to prognosticate what the rating reason will be before I see it. 

I’m predicting the 18 rating will be because of ‘sexual violence, strong bloody images, self-harm, drug misuse, child murder theme’.

Gillian Flynn’s third book, Dark Places, was also adapted into a movie, but unlike Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, it was only a 15. Its BBFC insight reads, ‘very strong language, strong violence, drug use, references to child abuse’, however, showing that whilst it did not attain the highest rating, it certainly wasn’t pulling any punches in its content.

So with two of her three creations rated 18, that gives Gillian Flynn a 67% rate of her creations getting 18 ratings. Can you BBFC nerds think of any other writers who have an even higher hit rate of 18s?

So yes, I’m excited to see how accurate I was with my guess for the rating of Sharp Objects, as well as watching the miniseries itself!

Camille in Sharp Objects reads as a curious portmanteau of both Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike’s characters in Gone Girl, as she has facets of both of them. She, like Nick in Gone Girl, is a writer and grew up in a small Missouri town. Like Amy, she’s described as being very beautiful. Due to her hard-drinking throughout the novel, she’s also an unreliable narrator, like both of them.

Last of all, I’ve seen rave reviews for Amy Adams’ performance as the troubled Camille Preaker, hopefully she gets that Emmy! I’m still mad about Amazing Amy getting snubbed of a Best Actress Oscar nomination at the 2017 Oscars for Arrival, but that’s another topic.


For more BBFC nerdiness, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Le nouveau The Walking Dead est arrivé ?