I saw ‘The King’s Speech’ over the Christmas holidays and lamented the fact that it scored an R rating because of all the F-bombs. But the movie, which follows King George VI’s battle with stammering, has some great messages for kids, including the fact that even royal people have hang-ups and insecurities that can be overcome with the proper training and mindset.
And now that the film has won an Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Leading Actor (Colin Firth) and Original Screenplay (David Seidler), executive producer Harvey Weinstein’s request for a family-friendly PG-13 cut has been approved by the MPAA.
At first blush, this seems like a good idea, right? But is it? The F-bombs in the film were pivotal to the story, and if they edit those out, some of the story gets lost in the process.
At the Governor’s Ball after the Oscars, The Hollywood Reporter asked Hooper what he thought of the PG-13 version, to which he replied, “I haven’t seen it yet.” Ok, so that means the edits were made without his consent or participation.
Firth was more candid in his response, saying, “I don’t support it. I think the film has its integrity as it stands … It serves a purpose. I’m not someone who’s casual about that kind of language. I take my children to football [soccer] games. I hate hearing that kind of language in their ears, but I won’t deny them the experience of a live game … But in the context of the film, it couldn’t be more edifying, more appropriate. It’s not vicious or insulting. It’s not in the context that might offend … I still haven’t met the person who’d object to it.”
Weinstein and his people are still deciding what to do with the PG-13 version. Release it again in theaters? Only on DVD? I’m guessing it’ll get both a theatrical and DVD release with the new rating, because it’s too much of a cash cow not to pursue it.
I’d love to hear what screenwriter Seidler thinks about it, since he’s the one who penned all the F-bombs.
What’s your take? Think they made the right decision in allowing a PG-13 version without the F-bombs? Should kids be allowed to see the R version? Would you let your kids see it?