We all know Eva Green is hot, but banned by the MPAA hot?! Apparently. News broke this afternoon that a new poster for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For featuring Ms Green as Ava Lord looking deliriously sexy, loaded for bear and barely covered up, was banned by the MPAA, meaning that it won’t be hanging up in a theater near you. For reasons that are both sad and obvious, the poster skirts a little too close to that MPAA red line between suggestive nudity and “in-your-face” nudity. Or to look at it another way, is this poster more Playboy than Maxim?
As reported by Page Six, “We’re told the poster was disapproved by the MPAA ‘for nudity — curve of under breast and dark nipple/areola circle visible through sheer gown.'”
Okay, so that’s a point. So far as attire goes, Green’s choice of wardrobe does not leave much to the imagination. True, you can Google “Eva Green” and get an eyeful more thanks to her parts in The Dreamers, Perfect Sense or the 300 sequel, but the poster is definitely, ahem, rubbing your face in it. But the question is, does this Sin City poster cross a line of moral whatsit? That is to say, does this image of Eva Green wearing nothing but a sheer gown and a smirk breaks the social norm for what’s decent?
If you think about it, this poster isn’t that far from magazine covers that feature scantily clad women that sit within the eye line of every kid on the newsstands. It’s also not too far from any number of comic book portrayals of women, not just the heroines that seem to fight in what can liberally called a bikini, but also the ones who are fully covered but wear something that’s utterly and completely form-fitting. Say what you want about the poster, but at least Eva Green’s a real woman. An exceptionally beautiful and exotically hot woman, but real nonetheless.
Of course the MPAA’s attitudes towards females being sexually empowered is no secret, at least not to anyone that’s seen the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated. We know that sex is judged more harshly than violence, and we know that female enjoyment of sex is more unseemly to them than the male variety. Never mind that Ava Lord’s brandishing a gun that’s cocked and ready to fire, you can see her boobies! As always, the real threat is sex.
But perhaps Badass Digest has a point. Suppose Robert Rodriguez, director of Sin City, was looking to stir up some controversy by producing a ready to be banned poster. The poster covers everything up to make it passable, but with all the, as Monty Python put it, naughty bits in silhouette, it’s just suggestive enough to get tossed. A shrewd marketing exec might see the wisdom of that, but where is that fine line, and how do you know when you’ve crossed? Perhaps it’s a win-win, it passes the censors then it gets put up in theaters, or the MPAA gives it thumbs down and it becomes internet fodder.
Objectively, you want to say that maybe the people worried about the sight of a woman barring a little flesh have a point, but let’s just cut to the chase, Nicki Minaj wears less than this to awards shows and no one’s following her around with a blanket to cover her up. The thing is, Rodriguez set out to be provocative, and this poster’s certainly provocative. It’s hard to be the “Dame to Kill For” if you don’t give them a reason to want to kill for her, and in one image, Ava Lord is sold as sexy, and dangerous, and definitely out of your league. A cotton-terry bathrobe and a rolled up copy of Good Housekeeping probably doesn’t say “dangerous” in quite the same way.
The tagline on the poster is “I’ve been especially bad,” but was that as much a statement of intent as it was a message about the film’s central character? In a world where there really is no such thing as bad press, this poster for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is especially bad indeed. After all, it’s kind of galling that a movie like Sin City would use sex to sell their movie… Right, Jessica Alba?