In case you forgot, “Blue Valentine,” the prickly relationship drama starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, was recently slapped with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA much to the confusion of, well, everyone. While the MPAA keeps the reasons for their decisions secret, most believe it is due to a scene where the troubled couple, played by Williams and Gosling, have an argument in the midst of having sex. Yes, it’s a very uncomfortable and bracing scene but certainly nothing risqué about it. Regardless, the notoriously sex-afraid, violence-happy MPAA got their knickers in a twist and gave the hardest rating they could against the film.
While the appeal appears not to have happened just yet, and with The Weinstein Company surprisingly quiet on the matter, it hasn’t stopped talent behind the film from speaking out. Earlier last month, director Derek Cianfrance admitted he was “shocked” by the rating and now producer Jamie Patricof has revealed he has been left “dumfounded” by the decision but stands strong alongside the film.
Speaking with E!, Patricof draws parallels between “Blue Valentine” and some other recent films that have gotten away with lesser ratings even though they show more saying, “I’ve seen a lot of movies. I just saw ‘Jackass‘ and I was dumbfounded—you see a lot of fully frontal male nudity. I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Do I want my 15-year-old daughter seeing this?’ Probably not. Do I want her to see [Blue Valentine]? It’s probably not my first choice, but I don’t think it would harm her.”
He adds that during the appeals process he wants to tell the MPAA, “I want to talk to them and say, ‘Really, ‘The Lovely Bones‘? Raping and killing 13 year olds is cool?'”
The problem though is that the MPAA doesn’t allow ratings for other films to be used as evidence in stating your case so the PG-13 rating for “The Lovely Bones” and gratuitous full frontal male nudity of “Jackass” won’t matter. That said, don’t expect anyone to be making edits to the film, with Patricof stating, “We have no intention of changing the film.”
It’s just under two months until the film will get a limited release on December 31st. Just how limited it will be remains to be seen as an NC-17 will keep it out of most cinemas except arthhouse and independent theaters.