Blue Valentine’s NC-17 Rating Overturned

An NC-17 rating is nearly a kiss of death for a theatrical release, and it severely limits the number of theaters willing to show a film. The MPAA originally slapped the upcoming “Blue Valentine” with just such a rating for a sex scene between a married couple, played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, who are stuck in the middle of a rapidly dissolving union. Today the news came down that the NC-17 rating was reversed, changing the rating to a much less restrictive R, after Harvey Weinstein personally argued for the film in a hearing.

Here’s part of the press release courtesy of Deadline:

The Classification and Rating Appeals Board today overturned the NC-17 rating given to the movie “Blue Valentine”. The Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA) had assigned the move the NC-17 rating for “a scene of explicit sexual content.” The film is now rated R, on appeal, for “strong graphic sexual content, language, and a beating.”

While that’s good for the film, which by every account I’ve seen is wonderful, but somehow addition of the phrase “and a beating”, somehow makes it sound far more severe than “explicit sexual content”. Maybe that’s just me.

“Blue Valentine” follows the story of Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams), who, over the course of a single night, attempt to save their crumbling marriage. Here’s the trailer.