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Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird has earned a lot of acclaim over the past few months. However, despite being about a teenager navigating young adulthood, it's a movie that is for adult audiences or at least the parents of older teens who can handle the word "cunt" and f-bombs being bandied about. As such, it's Rated R in the U.S. and has been given age gates in other countries around the world. However, in Australia theaters are taking a different tact, censoring the movie to make it more age appropriate for some younger viewers. Here's what's happening.
According to Media Censorship in Australia, Lady Bird has been censored in Australia, at least when it is getting played in theaters. The outlet notes that screenings have changed the word "cunt" to "cooze" in the movie. (The word comes up twice in the regular version of Lady Bird.) In addition, some male genitals in the Playgirl Magazine scene were also censored for Australian audiences. The changes might explain why Lady Bird was originally given an MA 15 rating and that rating was later changed to an M.
In Australia, movies can be rated MA 15. This means that audiences who are over the age of 15 can see the movie on their own time. Anyone younger than 15 could still get in with a parent or guardian. A representative of the Classification Board in Australia told Filmink that the reason the movie was given the rating in the first place had to do with "Brief Strong Nudity." The scene in question in Lady Bird actually features a Playgirl magazine and the aforementioned male genitalia, which would indicate why the rating was given out. However, the board says that it does not censor movies and that it would be the studio and/or distributor's decision to do so.
The end result? In Australia, Lady Bird is now only rated M for "mature themes, coarse language and a sex scene." This means that movie fans in Australia have fewer barriers toward seeing the Academy Award-nominated film. However, if you live in the States, the movie is still Rated R. So if you are a teenaged film buff, or the parent of one, someone 18 or older is gonna have to buy the tickets. Honestly though, I'd assume fans there will get the gist without the language or the Playgirl. The bigger question is whether or not the song "Crash Into Me" by Dave Matthews Band had the same complicated connotation outside of the States that it did for hipsters here.
We won't have too much longer to wait to see how Lady Bird fares on the biggest night of the year for film. The 90th Academy Awards air this Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET, only on ABC. If you haven't taken a complete look at the nominees, yet, head here. Lady Bird has been nominated for Best Picture.