Takaisin

ARE ALL THE BEST MOVIES RATED R?

For Hicksflicks.com, Jan. 17, 2014

Nine movies received best-picture nods Thursday when the 2014 Academy Award nominations were announced, and six are rated R. Only "Captain Phillips," "Gravity" and "Philomena" are rated PG-13. (Of the best-director nominations, only Alfonso Cuaron's is for a movie that isn't rated R, "Gravity.")

Also, three of the best-picture nominees — "12 Years a Slave," "American Hustle" and especially "The Wolf of Wall Street" — tend to wallow in their excesses to a degree that goes beyond merely driving home a thesis or prompting thought in the audience or creating art. "The Wolf of Wall Street" has so much graphic female nudity that it could have been funded by Playboy.

There's a tendency among those in the movie business to think that if a film is aimed at adults it has to be rated R. If it's PG-13, that's good for box office reasons — it broadens the ticket-buying audience. But it's not really a movie for thinking adults.

To which I say balderdash … if I may use a word that's too long to text or tweet. (Look it up, kids.)

How ridiculous a concept is that? Is "Wolf" for thinking adults or arrested-development men with an unhealthy interest in objectifying women?

Pardon the plug, but in my book, "Has Hollywood Lost It's Mind?" I point out that when the ratings first came into being, back in 1968, adult movies were often rated G and no one thought anything of it.

But ask yourself if these G-rated movies, each from a different genre, would get that rating today: The sci-fi classic "2001: A Space Odyssey," Barbra Streisand's musical "Funny Girl," Neil Simon's comedy "The Odd Couple," The original "Planet of the Apes" and the Hammer sequel "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave."

Most of these films have profanity, "Planet of the Apes" also has violence and nudity, and "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave" flaunts sexuality (although on camera it's only hinted at) and there is a fair amount of bloody violence.

Watching these movies today, I'm guessing that "2001" and "Funny Girl" would be rated PG and that the other three would each receive a PG-13.

But even at that, all of these are certainly films for adults.

If those in the industry really feel a movie isn't adult enough unless it is replete with foul language, graphic sex and/or gory violence, that explains a lot about the people who make movies, and also why so many PG-13 movies look like they should be rated R.

It also helps explain why six of the nine best-picture nominees this year are so unsavory and exploitative. These days, more is more.