Kevin Costner is two-for-two. Six months after his football movie "Draft Day" won its appeal to the Motion Picture Assn. of America to overturn an initial R rating, Costner persuaded the organization to do the same for his upcoming drama "Black and White."
"Black and White" is now rated PG-13 for "brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight," the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration announced Friday. Larry Gleason, the film's distribution consultant, joined Costner in the appeal process.
Written and directed by Mike Binder, the independent film stars Costner as a widowed grandfather who becomes embroiled in a custody battle over his biracial granddaughter, whom he has raised since birth, when the girl's paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) surfaces. Costner is also producing the film.
Movies submitted to CARA for rating are initially evaluated by a rating board, which is made up of parents who are not otherwise affiliated with the entertainment industry. Appeals are adjudicated by an appeals board, which is made up of industry members. A successful appeal means the film will not need to be edited to receive a new rating.
According to CARA, the group reviews 800 to 900 films each year, and usually fewer than a dozen ratings are appealed.
Although successful appeals are historically somewhat rare, "Black and White" and "Draft Day" are among a wave of recent films that have won new ratings, including Fox's "The Other Woman," the Weinstein Co.'s "Philomena" and Screen Media's "A Birder's Guide to Everything."