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The Theory of Flight



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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

Based on a true story, a down-on-his-luck man obsessed with building a workable aircraft, and a wheelchair-bound, terminally-ill woman obsessed with losing her virginity, hesitantly become friends. With Helena Bonham Carter, Kenneth Branagh, Gemma Jones, Holly Aird and Ray Stevenson. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Lots of sexual innuendo and a couple of chaste kisses. In an extended scene, a male prostitute lays a woman on a bed, removes all of their clothing (her bra, his bare chest and the front of his underwear are seen), lies on top of her, kisses her face and neck and runs his fingers between her bra-clad breasts; she begins crying and screaming, and he jumps off the bed when someone enters the room (he covers his genitals with his hands and we see his bare backside as he leaves). We hear loud moans of people having intercourse, then see that a woman is watching a nude couple having intercourse on her computer screen (we see this at a distance and although we can tell the couple is nude, we can't distinguish any body parts). A man touches a woman's chest to see if she's still alive and she screams "Rape!" A woman asks a man to help her lose her virginity and he arranges for a male prostitute to have intercourse with her. Twice, we see a man and woman in bed together, but no sex is involved (the woman is nude but covered in both scenes and the man is nude but covered in one scene). We see a painting of a nude man (his genitals are barely visible) and a picture of a bare-chested man on a computer screen. A woman wears a cleavage-revealing dress.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A plane crashes from a very low altitude. A woman hits her head but isn't injured as she's being lifted out of a car. A man threatens a woman with a gun and a man pulls a woman by her arm. During a narrative voice-over, we see a man throwing things on the ground and ripping posters off a wall while he's yelling at a woman. We see a clogged toilet with lots of brownish goo inside.

PROFANITY 8 - About 35 F-words, a few anatomical references, several scatological references, a mild obscenity, and some British slang terms. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Terminal illness, muscular disease, obsession, failed relationships, community service, virginity, prostitution, death.

MESSAGE - Having a loving friendship can be life's most satisfying reward; disabled people have the same desires and needs as others.

Special Keywords: S6 - V3 - P8 - 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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