MPAA needs to grow up…IFC cinemas set to override the harsh R rating for the movie Boyhood

Posted: 21 July, 2014 in MPAA
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Boyhood DVD Patricia Arquette Boyhood is a 2014 USA drama by Richard Linklater.
Starring Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. YouTube icon IMDb US : Rated R (17A) for language including sexual references, and For teen drug and alcohol use.

UK : Rated 15 uncut for strong language, sex references, drug use

The USA lacks a rating for mid teens. There is a PG-13 rating for young teens but the next step is an R rating which is in UK terms a 17A rating. So movies that are 15 rated in the UK have to be overrated with a 17 rating in the US. It is often cited as a criticism of the US system that something as trivial as a couple of ‘fucks’ tips a movie from a 13 rating to a 17 rating. One such example is Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was given an R-rating, despite the fact that it quite realistically charts the growth of a contemporary suburban child up until his college years. Naturally, the MPAA wants to protect any kid who might actually watch something that, critics say, accurately depicts their own lives. But distributor IFC Films isn’t having it.

In response to the R-rating, IFC tweeted about Boyhood , which is playing at the IFC Center in New York, as well as five other locations:

Though the MPAA has rated BOYHOOD R, we feel the film is appropriate for mature adolescents & will be admitting teenagers at our discretion. — IFC Center (@IFCCenter) July 11, 2014

The indie film from director Richard Linklater follows a young boy named Mason, who makes it through a rocky childhood with an alcoholic father (Ethan Hawke) and, eventually, a single mother (Patricia Arquette) as he attempts to define his identity over the course of twelve years. Boyhood carries an R-rating attached to crude language, including sexual references, and teen drug and alcohol usage. There are several implications of spousal abuse as well as domestic unrest, which are no doubt intense for the viewer. Which is sort of the point: it’s almost as if the MPAA is penalizing Linklater’s movie for being honest.

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