This week’s releases, as seen by the BBFC

Thursday November 11th 2010

With Harry Potter looming over the horizon (seeing it this Friday bbz!) and threatening to crush any film that dares to take it on at the box office, November is proving deathly quiet when it comes to high-profile movie releases. This week’s selection is the barest of them all, to the extent that no critics seem to have actually watched any of the movies on offer.

The perfect time, then, to see what the BBFC makes of them all…

Contains sustained moderate threat and infrequent strong violence & horror

A worldwide embargo restricting all reviews until the day of release is a pretty clear indicator of a studio’s confidence in a movie. Skyline, a sci-fi B-movie from possibly fictional directors ‘The Brothers Strause’, is going to be shit and Universal know it. Then again, it’s hard to argue with a movie whose BBFC guidelines include the phrase ‘ripping out their brains and spinal cords for later use’. I’m there.

Contains mild slapstick

By all accounts, You Again is a movie aimed at the Bride Wars audience of 18-30 year old (slightly stupid) women, so it’s weird that they’ve played it quite so safe with the certificate. U ratings are a notoriously hard sell for ‘adult’ comedies, and it’s hard to believe that they’ll be drawing in a lot of under-12s just because there’s nothing more extreme than ‘a teenage girl receiving a kick in the face’.

Contains strong language

My Afternoons with Margueritte is an arthouse movie through-and-through, so distributors Picturehouse Entertainment are unlikely to give a fuck what certificate they get for it, as long as it stops short of 18. But whether or not it actually matters, it’s unbelievable that a film can be restricted to over-15s for a single use of ‘motherfucker’. That’s it. Literally. There is nothing objectionable in the entire film except for one utterance of the word ‘motherfucker’, which according to BBFC rules is still ‘permitted only at 15 and above’. It’s a motherfucking disgrace.

Contains intense scenes of natural disaster

It’s understandable that young children might be upset by Aftershock, a Chinese film about the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. What’s less understandable, especially when the guidelines for this movie state that ‘the [disaster] scenes are prolonged… and tonally impactful, particularly as the focus is on a family’, is that Roland Emmerich’s 2012 walked away with a 12A last year for ‘moderate threat’.

If the destruction of the entire Earth and near-extinction of mankind is ‘moderate’, I don’t even want to imagine ‘strong’.

It’s probably Gerard Depardieu saying ‘motherfucker’ or something.