From 'Shame' to 'Showgirls,' why the MPAA's highest rating is no badge of dishonor
4. “Lust, Caution” (Ang Lee, 2007)
And so we come to our second consecutive auteur who followed up an Oscar-winning hit -- albeit one that dealt with its own taboos -- with something that frightened the horses a little more. Oddly, the MPAA downplay the erotic content of Lee’s glorious WWII espionage romance, citing only “some explicit sexuality” as the offending factor. As it turns out, there’s rather a lot of it, but even its roughest love scenes are so sensual, so rife with dense emotional subtext, as to render idiotic the “ZOMG Ang Lee’s made a PORNO” cries that greeted the film upon its divisive (but ultimately, and deservingly, triumphant) Venice premiere.