The British, who put “Bloody” in “Bloody Sunday,” have deemed “The Hunger Games”–which stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen–as too violent! That is, the British Board of Film Classification has forced Lionsgate to censor themselves and delete some violence so it could get a 12A rating in England.
The 12A rating means that film-goers under 12 can see the film in British theaters, only if accompanied by an adult. Without the, ahem, “advised” cuts, the flick would have received a 15 rating — meaning that no one under 15 could have seen the film in theaters.
Meanwhile, across the polluted pond, the U.S. has already given it a PG-13–meaning that a film is okay for kids over 13, but that parents are strongly urged to make their own decisions as to whether the movie will be appropriate for younger children.
Is this saying that American 13 year olds can take viewing violence better than 15 year old and younger Brit kids? Is there something in the typical American child’s diet (i.e., lack of organic food) that is different than the typical British diet (i.e, lack of taste and nourishment) that makes an American child grow up to accept violence better that his Brit counterpart?
Then again, “The Hunger Games” (no, it’s not about anorexic super models playing an eating game where the winnner regurgitates the most weight in the shortest amount of time) is based on a young adult novel. If the film was based on an adult novel (the recent “The Killer Inside Me” by British Michael Winterbottom ) it’d have no trouble getting a British audience. The censors allowed deputy sheriff Lou Ford – played by Casey Affleck – to bludgeon his prostitute girlfriend (Jessica Alba) close to death until her face is unrecognizable, while later, “Amy Stanton” (Kate Hudson) is punched repeatedly and chokes to death as her killer slips on her urine.
Obviously, this film caused a lot of controversy–because it was rumored that Mr. Winterbottom based these scenes on Paul McCartney’s troubled marriage to Heather Mills.
But–if the British censors really want to nip some violence in the bud, they should follow Russell Brand around to make sure he doesn’t break any more cameras.
The Hunger Games opens March 23.
CLICK HERE for the film’s official website.