M’s mission succeeds: Philomena gets PG-13 rating

Not the University of Michigan president

Judi Dench in Skyfall

Judi Dench’s last (?) assignment as M was a success.

The veteran actress (sort of) reprised her role as M in a video meant to pressure the Motion Picture Association of America into relenting on its decision to give the film Philomena an R rating. Whether it was Dench’s video or not, the campaign was a success, according to A STORY IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.

An excerpt:

This time, Harvey Weinstein seems to have gotten what he wanted.

It was less than a week ago that his Weinstein Co. declared war — yet again — on the Motion Picture Assn. of America, slamming the organization for assigning the studio’s upcoming release “Philomena” an R rating. Now, just a few days later, the MPAA has downgraded the rating to a PG-13 — prompting the Weinstein Co. to send out a news release touting its victory in the appeal.

“Philomena,” which stars Judi Dench as a woman trying to locate a son she was forced to give up for adoption 50 years earlier, was initially given an R because it included two utterances of the F-word. To speak out against the MPAA’s decision last week, Dench filmed a FunnyorDie video assuming the character she played in the James Bond series, MI5 chief M.

Of course, M (who Dench played in seven 007 films from 1995 through 2012) was chief of MI6, not MI5. In any event, both Weinstein and his star got what they wanted. A PG-13 rating generally makes it easier to attract an audience than an R-rated one.

UPDATE (Nov. 14) In a CBS NEWS VIDEO, Harvey Weinstein is saying, not surprisingly, that he cleared having Judi Dench reprise the M role before that video was produced. Weinstein tells the anchors of CBS’s morning show that he called Sam Mendes, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig.

Previous posts:


February 2013: THE M OF TWO WORLDS