The controversial "NC-17" rating that the MPAA gave Derek Cianfrance's Ryan Gosling-Michelle Williams anti-romance "Blue Valentine" was overturned today, according to Deadline's Mike Fleming.
"The film will be given an R rating after Harvey Weinstein personally argued his position in today's hearing," Fleming wrote. "That clears up all kinds of potential problems that awaited the film had it been released with that rating or unrated. The rating was given for a sex scene between a married couple played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as their relationship disintegrates. I'm told the appeal board's decision was unanimous."
This creates an optimal situation going into "Blue Valentine"'s December 31st release. The film will benefit from the buzz the controversy surrounding the rating caused, but now won't have to deal with restrictions on the age of its audience members after all.
Told through flashbacks,"Valentine" looks at the rise and fall of the marriage of Gosling and Williams' characters over a number of years. Acquired by The Weinstein Company after a very warm response at Sundance, the film received an NC-17 rating in October. The decision was met with much disapproval in the industry, and many said it once again called attention to the MPAA's archaic ways.
"We were shocked by it, in all honesty," Cianfrance said. "I think we made a very respectful film. It's not exploitative. It's honest, it's intimate... it leaves a lot to people's imaginations. And we're going to fight it. We all respect the MPAA and the work that they do but we think that this decision is wrong."
More on this story as it develops. Check out the trailer for the film here: