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Hedwig and the Angry Inch



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

The film is based on the true story of Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell), a transsexual woman who was born a boy in Communist Germany. Hedwig dreamed of becoming an American rock star but after a botched sex-change operation that left her with an "angry inch" also left her uncertain of who or what she is. Most of what we see is told through songs, flashbacks and drawn images that outline the events of her life. Also with Stephen Trask, Andrea Martin, Miriam Shor and Michael Aronov. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - We see a man and boy in bed together (there are several allusions to a father molesting his son). A man flirts with and admires a young man. A young man is shown in a bathtub nude to the waist masturbating, and a transsexual woman takes over (we see his gratified face and hear the water splashing rhythmically). A young man pulls a transsexual woman toward him and they kiss passionately; the woman grabs the young man's buttock and the young man reaches in the woman's skirt but stops when he is shocked by what he feels. A young man touches a transsexual woman's hand, kisses her on the neck and they kiss passionately. A man caresses a transsexual woman's face and they kiss briefly, and there are a few other kisses. A transsexual woman tries to kiss a young man but he pulls away, a young man kisses a transsexual woman's neck and back. A transsexual woman and a man are shown in bed under sheets together (he's holding her from behind) and we see some thrusting; they are shown in bed together a couple of other times. We see a nude boy by lying on his stomach exposing his bare buttocks, we see a nude man with a pile of candy covering his crotch; we see a nude young man who rolls over and exposes a penis shaped puppet, we see a nude man from the back exposing his bare buttocks, and we see a transsexual woman's bare leg up to the hip. We see a transsexual woman on stage as she strips off her bra, her fake breasts and her wig revealing a bare-chested man. A transsexual woman in a mini skirt stands over a man's head and wiggles her hips. A transsexual woman stands in a street as men drive by ogling her. A young woman screams and jumps on a young man (she's a groupie throwing herself at a rock star). We see a stick drawing of a man and woman having sex and then the woman is shown dropping a baby from between her legs. There is an animation of drawings which depict a nude man and woman (including breasts, pubic hair and a penis). We see a transsexual woman throughout the film in costumes which expose thighs, midriff and cleavage. A transsexual woman removes her bra and we see her bare back. A transsexual woman waggles her buttocks at an audience a few times, and in one scene she strokes her crotch with a microphone and in another she strokes her crotch with the microphone stand. A transsexual woman grabs a man's thigh and bites a guitar which is held by a man at crotch level. There are many sexual references.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - There are several references to and images of a botched sex-change operation; we see a doctor with what looks like garden sheers. A man tackles a man and a bar fight breaks out with breaking tables and bottles and food being thrown around. A woman shoves, hits and yells at a man and a woman shoves hits and yells at a young man. There are several allusions to a father molesting his son. A woman smacks a boy on the head, and a woman throws food at a boy. A car crashes into a truck, the screen goes black and we see the bruised and bandaged faces of the occupants. A woman repeatedly pounds a guitar on a stage. A man kicks a pile of wigs and yells, a woman wrestles with a couple of security guards, and a young man kicks things and yells in frustration. We see a fur coat which has been splattered with blood (presumably). There is a drawing of a person (with two faces) being spilt in half by a lightning bolt. A boy plays in an oven; we see him lying in it.

PROFANITY 6 - 13 F-words, 2 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 5 sexual references, 5 mild obscenities, 2 religious exclamations, and some name-calling. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Sexuality and sexual identity, Communism and the Berlin Wall, Crucifixion, the origins of love, procreation vs. recreational sex, Adam and Eve, stalking.

MESSAGE - Good things come to those who wait. Love is immortal.

Special Keywords: S8 - V4 - P6 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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