BLUE VALENTINE, Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, Gets Hit with NC-17 Rating

by     Posted 3 years, 315 days ago

blue_valentine_movie_image_ryan_gosling_michelle_williams_slice_01

The MPAA has created a stir this morning by giving the drama Blue Valentine an NC-17 rating.  The “NC-17″ is a kiss-of-death for a film and most theaters won’t exhibit a film that has NC-17 (and as demonstrated this week by Hatchet 2, you can’t get away with no rating either).  Blue Valentine stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and is about the deterioration of a marriage.  So as to avoid spoilers, hit the jump to find out what was so offensive to the MPAA as to merit the dreaded NC-17.

blue_valentine_movie_image_ryan_gosling_michelle_williams_01According to Deadline:

The rating was given for a scene in which the characters played by Gosling and Williams try to save their crumbling marriage by spending a night away in a hotel. They get drunk and their problems intensify when he wants to have sex and she doesn’t, but will to get him off her back. That hurts his pride and the result is an upsetting scene that makes you squirm, but is an honest one that establishes clearly that this couple has nothing left and isn’t going to make it because love has turned into contempt. There is barely any nudity in the scene, as I recall (though I haven’t seen it since last January) and there is no violence.

The Playlist adds:

The scene itself is hardly explicit and the film has no nudity really, except for a flashback scene where Williams is shown having sex with an ex-boyfriend at college; you see partial bum (gasp!), but that scene is also emotionally difficult for entirely different reasons that we won’t spoil here.

Steve has also seen the film and tells me that he has zero idea why it would be rating NC-17.

Blue Valentine is being distributed through The Weinstein Company and this is the third time this year the studio has butted heads with the MPAA.  The first time was over an “R” rating for The Tillman Story and then an “R” rating for The King’s Speech because Firth says “fuck” about forty-two times in a single sentence and the MPAA’s limit is “three”.  As we all know, if someone under the age of 17 hears the word “fuck” more than three times in a movie without a parent or guardian present, that underage person will turn to a life of crime.

The Weinstein Company will most likely appeal the decision, but if they lose they will have to make some cuts.  The question is how to make cuts when there aren’t the normally “offensive” factors that land a film a NC-17 like hardcore nudity, sex, and violence.  It looks like the MPAA has slapped Blue Valentine with an NC-17 simply because director Derek Cianfrance succeeded in making the audience uncomfortable.  The fact that he’s being punished for it is yet another example of why the MPAA is a joke.




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  • http://twitter.com/cablebfg Bill Graham

    I wish there was support for NC-17. It sounds like this isn’t something that kids need to see. Unfortunately, the MPAA engine is too supportive of it’s own sponsors (Hollywood) to really care about the little guys.

  • http://twitter.com/cablebfg Bill Graham

    I wish there was support for NC-17. It sounds like this isn’t something that kids need to see. Unfortunately, the MPAA engine is too supportive of it’s own sponsors (Hollywood) to really care about the little guys.

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  • Trick

    Doesn’t make sense..
    Sounds like the reasons for the rating are some crucial scenes in the movie that can’t be cut
    According to the article, it’s not like they can cut a few scenes of violence here and a few scenes of nudity here
    The scenes in question do seem very adult-oriented, maybe even enough to garner the rating, but when their impact in the film is high, you can’t just cut that.. Hopefully, they don’t cut anything and leave the film as is: for adult eyes only O_O

  • http://senzafineonline.net/ Yahzee

    there goes all sense of artistic freedom in film… the only ones not dealing with this are kiddie-ready animated talking animals from the MPAA studio friends

    • http://senzafineonline.net/ Yahzee

      by the way that line “As we all know, if someone under the age of 17 hears the word “fuck” more than three times in a movie without a parent or guardian present, that underage person will turn to a life of crime.” just killed me… you really made my day

  • Dukeofyork

    If theaters were willing to show NC-17films this wouldn’t be an issue… But the fact is they arent and the viewership difference between R and NC-17 is a single year… No this film does not look like it is fit for children’s eyes, but neither are ANY R rated movies… So please DO tell me anyone why a movie that is not outright porn should be slapped with a rating that to a certain extent is censoring the movie from not only children but adults as well…

    • Excpired

      I though NC-17 also doesn’t allow a person underage to view the movie with or without a guardian.

      Either way it is BS, they do need to start a theater chain that puts NC-17 films in theaters. Besides, just because the movie is NC-17 doesn’t mean it can’t still pull in more than half of the R rated or PG-13 movies out there.

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  • Mike S

    How is it that this movie gets slapped with an NC17 and yet Lars Von Tier’s The AntiChist was able to get a theatrical run as well as get the acclaimed Criterion treatment on its video release.with all the porn shots,torture + hardcore(for those of you who havnt seen it, Willem DeFoe even has a money shot but it involves blood and not what u might b expecting)?

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