Weinstein Co. appealing 'Blue Valentine' NC-17 rating

A week after the MPAA branded its domestic drama Blue Valentine with an NC-17 rating, the Weinstein Company has decided to appeal the decision and hope for an R without any trims to the film. “We respect the work of the MPAA,” Harvey Weinstein says in a statement today, “and we hope, after having a chance to sit down with them, they will see that our appeal is reasonable, and the film, which is an honest and personal portrait of a relationship, would be significantly harmed by such a rating.” Weinstein is right: The NC-17 would limit the film’s audience and its Oscar chances. The question is whether the notoriously stubborn MPAA will budge. Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, has its U.K. premiere tomorrow night at the London Film Festival and hits U.S. theaters on Dec. 31.

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  • keith

    Hmm. I hope they are successful. I’m not terribly optimistic, given the MPAA’s record. But the Weinsteins could spin this whole battle into a solid oscar campaign. I guess? I don’t know. A part of me thinks they should make a few trims so the film will get scene and can participate, rightfully, in the awards season. But I hate the thought of them making changes, particularly when they are unnecessary. It’s a no win situation.

    • Ibad

      I agree that Weinstein could use it to his advantage to get the film press attention, especially attention to the fact that everyone knows it’s not worthy of an NC-17 rating.

      But that’s a gamble, and he should definitely try to get it appealed first. If that doesn’t happen, then I would hope he doesn’t convince Cianfrance to edit (I like how Cianfrance and Hooper both have the conviction to refuse to edit their films to get a lower rating this year).

  • RJ

    If the movie is so good then it shouldn’t hurt it one bit to remove some nudity or foul language. Just because its a film about a relationship doesn’t mean you have to show them being intimate in gory detail. That’s what the porn industry is for.

    • K

      Your assuming they’re are being intimate in gory detail. That may not be the case. MPAA gives out NC-17 ratings not just because of sex scenes. If that’s the case then Monster’s Ball would have been an NC-17 rating.

    • Allan EekHart

      Actually there isn’t much “nudity or foul language”. That is why this NC-17 rating was so surprising!

    • davey

      I saw the film at TIFF and there is NOTHING in this film that is NC-17 worthy. What the hell is wrong with America and the MPAA when a movie like Saw 7 is Rated R and Blue Valentine is rated NC-17!

      • alex21

        can you tell us what it could possibly be that they’re basing the NC 17 on? is it violence? i’m curious..

      • Esther Greenwood

        I read on another blog that the scene that earned the movie the rating depicted Gosling’s character having sex with his wife even though she didn’t really want to. Not a rape situation but one where she consented but just wasn’t into it and looked miserable as it was happening. I don’t think that’s enough to warrant an NC-17 rating; to me, it would show how much their relationship had disintegrated (I’m assuming; I haven’t seen it).

    • Lisa Simpson

      “Intimate in gory detail”? It’s a relationship movie, with includes moments of sexual intimacy, not a slasher/sex flick.

      • Amy

        is that the actual statement? could it maybe be a forced intimate situation?

    • UncleWalty

      why should they have to tailor to the film to suit your sensibilities? If you don’t like sex or nudity or gore or violence, then don’t watch it.

    • RyanK

      Some “nudity or foul language” is not a reason why the producers of a film would appeal an NC-17 rating. Things like that can be taken out easily enough. One of the problems with the rating system is that it often has less to do with nudity, and more to do with how sex is portrayed or acted, which yes, can be very important to the movie. I shouldn’t go into detail on a public board, but for those curious, I would highly recommend watching “This Film is Not Yet Rated”

      • George

        have you even seen the movie? come on, be honest.

  • What’s Good for the Gander…

    Yeah, but if we get to see Ryan Gosling completely naked, then keep it NC-17 and I’ll be the first in line!

    • Katie

      Yeah, but we don’t get to see him naked, so it’s a lose lose.

  • Sarah

    Wasn’t Midnight Cowboy rated NC-17? It did pretty well at the Oscars, if I’m not mistaken.

    • K

      NC-17 was much different back then. And they changed the rating of Midnight Cowboy to an R rating a few years later.

      • Troy

        Actually, Midnight Cowboy was rated X. X was originally an MPAA rating before being co-opted by the Adult Industry. NC-17 was not introduced until 1990; it replaced the X rating on the MPAA scale at that point.

  • ChrisV

    I too am really perplexed at what scene was so graphic that this movie got an NC-17 rating. I’m sure the movie would be trimmed somehow to get an ‘R’ rating rather than release it, as is, and not have it shown in theaters nationwide. Hopefully, the movie gets the revised rating so no editing takes place.

  • Daisy

    What I think they should do is re-submit the film with no edits at all and see what happens. I think that Trey Parker and Matt Stone said in This Film Is Not Yet Rated, that they did something similar with South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut–they did not alter the scenes that the MPAA told them to and then added more violent and bloody war scenes just to see what would happen. The MPAA is a complete joke and they often slap an NC-17 rating for sex and not for violence. No slasher film in recent memory (if ever) has gotten an NC-17 rating, which is completely ridiculous. BTW If you have not yet seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated, you should check it out–the ridiculousness and utter hypocrisy of the MPAA is highlighted. I hope the appeal works as this film is high on my must-see list and I would prefer to see it in its original form and not edited for the MPAA.

    • m1

      Didn’t This Film Is Not Yet Rated get an NC-17, too?

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