No one can say no to “M” or, presumably, Harvey Weinstein. The Weinstein company won their appeal to the MPAA that the rating of their film “Philomena” be changed from an R rating to PG-13.
Harvey said, “We owe this victory to Barbara Broccoli, producer of the James Bond series, Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes, who because of their relationship with Judi Dench, gave permission to spoof the ratings system using the M character. We know that went a long way into shedding light on the themes of the movie and the fact that the PG-13 rating was correct.”
He added, “We are glad the MPAA has a good sense of humor, and with the cooperation of Barbara and her team, it was proven once again no one does it better than James Bond. And my sincerest congratulations to Steve Coogan, who went to the MPAA and defended the case personally.”
“Philomena” is based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee,” which chronicles the efforts of Philomena Lee (Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock, who was taken from her by the nuns and given to adoptive parents in America, to find out what happened to her son.
After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Lee meets Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to discover her long-lost son.
Director Stephen Frears weighed in on the MPAA reversal: “This is a film that evokes an overwhelmingly positive response from people. I’m delighted children have already seen it and have responded to it so positively.”
Frears continued, “We felt the MPAA had made the wrong decision in handing the film, which has no violence or lewd material and the bare minimum of adult language, an ‘R’ rating. I am overjoyed they’ve changed their ruling in order to give families like mine an opportunity to see this film together. Now we can let the whole world see it.”