On the face of it, Red Sparrow and Peter Rabbit don’t have a lot in common. However, the two films will now forever be linked as the most complained about movies of 2018.
The British Board Of Film Classification have released their annual report that details which films drew the most complaints from moviegoers.
Jennifer Lawrence’s spy thriller Red Sparrow, which saw the Oscar winning actress portray a Russian spy that gets caught up with the CIA, drew the most disdain, as it received 64 complaints.
These were mostly because of its 15 classification, which was deemed insufficient by some. Those that registered their issues with Red Sparrow believed it warranted an 18 certificate, due to the amount of “violence and sexual violence” in it.
The BBFC disagreed, insisting that “given the lack of aggravating factors such as strong nudity and eroticism in these scenes, the are permissible at 15,” while noting that its director Francis Lawrence cut enough out to justify its rating.
But while you can understand why Red Sparrow drew the ire of some sensitive moviegoers, more surprising was the 50 complaints that Peter Rabbit received. Nope, these weren’t because it starred James Cordon, but it was due to a specific scene where Domhnall Gleeson’s Mr McGregor is bombarded with blackberries, even though he is severely allergic.
Kenneth Mendez, the President and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, criticised this scene when Peter Rabbit was released, which even forced Sony to apologise.
However, the BBFC were much more defiant. "The scene in question does not feature any bullying but is instead part of an ongoing battle between the rabbits and the owner of a vegetable garden.”
“The pelting with fruit is simply one of the ploys the rabbits use in order to overcome their nemesis in response to his attempts to trap them, electrocute them, drown them and blow them up."
In fact, the BBFC even said that the complaints they did receive were due to the “press coverage that started in the US,” and they received zero when it was initially released.
Meanwhile, Love, Simon received several complaints because some idiotic viewers believed the “depiction of gay relationships to be inappropriate at the PG level.” The BBFC rejected these thoughts, as they stated their guidelines are “regardless of [the] sexual orientation” of a film’s characters.