James Bond was integral in getting Philomena, Judi Dench’s new movie, changed from an R to a PG-13.
Earlier this week, The Weinstein Company announced that they had successfully been able to downgrade its rating even though the MPAA had previously confirmed that it would be R-rated.
It was originally given this rating because the f-word was used in two scenes. However, The Weinstein Company decided to bring Judi Dench’s incarnation of her James Bond character, M, back to life in order to contest the decision. But only after they had been granted permission from Barbara Broccoli, the producer behind the James Bond movies, first.
As M, who died in Skyfall, Dench starred in two videos that saw her admit she disapproved of the MPAA’s decision, which ultimately helped to sway the decision in their favour.
Harvey Weinstein confirmed the news with the following statement, “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.”
He then added, “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. 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.”
Previously, Coogan, who co-wrote and stars in Philomena, admitted that the uses of profanity were “absolutely essential.”
The film, which is based on a true story, follows Judi Dench’s Philomena Lee as she sets out to find her child after he was put up for adoption in the 1950s by the Catholic Church. Coogan stars alongside Dench as Martin Sixsmith, a journalist who assists Philomena in her search.
Coogan attempted to explain why these instances, one of which takes place inside a convent and is aimed at a nun, were needed.
He noted, “Martin’s anger at the end, where he swears at this nun, has to be shocking because it has to contrast with the grace and serenity that Dame Judi as Philomena exhibits. That anger has to shock just to elevate her grace.”
Coogan then went on to note, “Similarly, early on, when Martin swears about Catholics. It needs to be provocative, certainly to her, but we also see that she’s not shocked by the profanity, because she spent many years as a nurse, which is important for the audience to know.”