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Speech Class

Friday 19 November 2010, 15:15

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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As Colin Firth and Helena Bonham-Carter pull on the regal drag for stiff upper lipstick Brit flick The King's Speech, a question is raised. Is the difference between royal and plebeian profanities measurable in years?

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    Comment number 1.

    There is a certain irony that this blog is called "Kermode Uncut" and your own use of the F word includes cuts. Perhaps if I watch it tonight after the watershed it won't? ...

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    Comment number 2.

    Not that this necessarily represents my point of view, but I can see the reasoning being how essential the words are to the plot/message/themes of the film. In The King's Speech, a film I'm yet to t'see, it sounds pretty crucial. In Made In Dagenham, I noticed how...'excessive' the swears could seem in the context of their respective scenes. They didn't necessarily add to the power of the drama (U-language confrontations between the lead married couple were far more dramatic). There's also an argument to be made that the film isn't the most naturalistic, realistic portrayal of 1960s England. In part it takes an affection, nostalgic look at the past. Therefore, Woolley's argument that 'this is how things were, therefore face up to it' falters slightly.

    Having said that, I see no reason why Made in Dagenham shouldn't be a 12A. As I say, the Fs didn't stand out particularly and I think that people could very easily miss a few of them. I also think, and call me disgustingly tolerant if you must, that young children don't constantly copy everything they see on a screen. And those who are ready to invest in the themes of Made in Dagenham are more than mature enough to handle a few f-words.

    For this same reason, This Is England should have been classed as a 15. (Although this is a film much more likely to be leapt upon and praised...wrongly...by the Nuts-reading Football Factory crowd).

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    Comment number 3.

    The BBFC recognise the importance of profanity in 'The King's Speech', as the story needs the involvement of such words, while they determined 'Made in Dagenham' wanted to include profanity.

    Personally I believe M.I.D's profanity is just as integral to the story, but I don't think the BBFC are 'classist', they're trying to rate a film on whether it needs or wants profanity; or violence and nudity for that matter.

    In today's films using 'rude' words should be a lesser priority for a films certificate . Either way, if people are offended by profanity I'd like to say "Grow up you C***"

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    Comment number 4.

    The Social Network also had two uses of the F-Word and that was a 12A certificate.The BBFC must feel any more usages of F bombs would upgrade it to a 15.I also think Armageddon had two F-Words in it and that was a 12.

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    Comment number 5.

    Yes Mark they are, and they are keeping alive a French/Norman arrogance to language which says Saxon words are evil compared to their French/Romanic equivalents. Liberate the Anglo Saxon in you; swear at someone with a smile!

    PS I wanted to write the words in full but ironically failed the BBC 'Profanity Filter'


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