The controversy over Philomena’s R rating has burned at a slow boil for several weeks in cinephile circles, but as the film’s release date approaches, The Weinstein Company is getting more vocal about its opposition. The film’s rating comes from an MPAA rule that more than one use of a “harsher, sexually-derived word” merits an automatic R rating. In this case, that word is “fuck” and it’s uttered twice during the film.
The Weinstein Company (and the film’s stars) are appealing their rating based on the grounds that PG-13 films can contain surprisingly graphic content when it comes to gore, but cursing is considered not to be family friendly. Philomena is set to be released on Nov. 27 in the United States; the film (and Dench in particular) has received across-the-board rave reviews from critics.