France Just Gave Fifty Shades Of Grey This Hilarious Rating

The French are notoriously laid back. Hell, the French phrase "Laissez Faire" literally means laying back, letting things take its course, and not interrupting your wine-and-cheese break to get fired up. So when they are presented with something that’s advertised as "shocking," along the lines of the controversial Fifty Shades of Grey, you have to admire their collective resistance to banning what other country’s label as pornographic.

France’s Ministry of Culture’s ratings board has branded Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey with a rating that will allow anyone 12 and over to see the movie, according to Vice. Ratings board president Jean-Francois Mary commented that Fifty Shades "isn't a film that... can shock a lot of people," adding that the bondage and submissive sex seen in the feature is borderline "schmaltzy."

This is in direct contrast to the ratings reactions filed in countries not named France! The UK, for example, gave the film a restrictive rating that prevents teenagers from seeing the film without an adult. The Malaysian Film Censorship Board, meanwhile, screened the film and decided that they were going to flat-out ban the movie, entirely, from showing in their country. So yeah, 12-year-old French kids are more sexually advanced that Malaysian children. Duly noted.

Having seen Fifty Shades of Grey, I’d have to say that I side with the Brits and the Malaysians. As we reported earlier, the film contains a ridiculous amount of sex, and there’s so much nudity on screen that I’m stunned it avoided the NC-17 rating in the States. Yes, there were celebrated trims from the book as it made its way to screen. But the finished product is still far more provocative than I think audiences are prepared for. Especially in IMAX!

At the moment, Fifty Shades of Grey is tracking to have a huge opening, both in the States and around the globe. There’s a curiosity factor to the material that most films can’t match. Obviously, the books by E.L. James have a large following, and that fan base is expected to show up in droves. If they want to bring their children, they’ll be able to in France with very little hassle. The rest of you young ones will have to wait for Fifty Shades of Grey parts two and three, which will be coming to theaters when you are a little bit older.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.