I really love Sacha Baron Cohen. He really does have a unique and innovative take on comedy. The highly anticipated follow up to his Golden Globe winning film Borat is entitled Bruno, and like it’s predecessor its been getting a lot of buzz due to its risky content. According to /Film, the MPAA ratings board slapped the initial edit of the movie with an NC-17 rating. Even though Cohen and his crew are in the process of re-cutting the film to get an R, they’re still trying to appeal the original NC -17 decision. Sharon Waxman who reported on the MPAA’s behalf stated several key scenes that lead to their final rating.
Here’s some of what Waxman and the MPAA board felt was too offensive.
In one scene showed at the festival (SXSW), Bruno auditioned children for a subversive movie with a number of offensive acts. Clueless stage moms agreed to the increasingly absurd requirements set forth by the actor, including one woman admitting that her infant daughter could lose seven pounds in a week to fit the part. Finally, Bruno told her about the scene, in which the child had to dress as a Nazi pushing someone into an oven.
I can see why some conservative viewers are up in arms about these types of scenarios.But in Cohen’s defense these people put themselves in the most awkward positions. What half sane woman tells her infant that they need to lose weight? Who does that? For financial and creative purposes there will probably be a rated R version and an exclusive director’s cut for those of us who can take it. The context of Cohen’s comedy is something that will always be up for debate. Not everyone interprets it in the way he intends, but that can be said about a lot of films. How many movies have you seen that have excessive violence and sex but still receive an R rating?
Do you think the MPAA gave Bruno a fair rating? Are there any other films that should have been rated NC-17 but got an R instead?