Why the hell is Gus Van Sant’s “Promised Land” rated R?


People cuss in Gus Van Sant’s “Promised Land.” When they get frustrated they modify nouns and verbs with “fuckin’,” e.g., that fuckin’ meeting, and etc. They occasionally greet bad news with a muttered shit.

From there the objectionable material amounts to this: a chaste kiss between a man and woman who are not married; and an argument that results in one character getting bopped in the nose.

For these very slight sins the Motion Picture Association of America slapped “Promised Land” with an R rating. Casting it in exactly the same league as Quentin Tarantino’s (brilliant, but still) non-stop gorefest, “Django.” And the extended scenes of male strippers waving their various appendages throughout the bracingly sexed-up “Magic Mike.”

So who are these weirdos at the MPAA? Why do they think the guns-bombs-and-mass-slaughters in the “Batman” films are more child-friendly than “Promised Land”‘s town meetings and nuanced debates about money and the fate of man and nature?

Are murders more child-friendly than the context-free swear words that a lot of us use and hear on a daily basis?

In a related story, the machine gun slaughter of those little kids in Connecticut, and resulting pressures to regulate guns more closely, has led to an enormous rush of assault weapon sales.

Welcome to the Promised Land.

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