MPAA overturns Blue Valentine’s NC-17
Written by Sarah
Fist pump fist pump fist pump!!!
This almost never happens. In just the last few months alone, the ratings board upheld multiple challenged ratings.
But not Blue Valentine! People can actually see it now! There will be a mad dash by theater owners to pick it up in time for the December 31 release. Not that it will be everywhere—this was always planned as a limited release with possible expansion if the box office justifies it. But more screens equals more chances to earn money, which means it could reach a much larger audience. Which helps its Oscar chances enormously, since in this competitive year, a successful theatrical run is key to getting that extra bit of attention.
Look at Get Low—Robert Duvall is favored for a Best Actor nomination and Bill Murray has a shot at Supporting Actor, but is anyone talking about screenwriters Chris Provenzano and Gaby Mitchell? Director Aaron Schneider? How about Sissy Spacek for Supporting Actress? No, they don’t talk about them, because hardly anyone saw Get Low. What attention it does get derives from Duvall and Murray’s standing in the industry.
With the more user-friendly R rating in place, Blue Valentine loses that perceived taint of being a “dirty nasty movie”. People will see it, especially Academy voters who thirty minutes ago maybe thought Blue Valentine didn’t have a real shot since the Academy already has a hard enough time reconciling their tastes to the public’s, so why go nominating an NC-17 movie no one saw? But now it’s an acceptable R and it won’t be a “wasted” vote. The odds on director Derek Cianfrance and the writing team of Cianfrance, Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne suddenly look a lot better.
And let’s give credit where credit is due. First, to the MPAA for admitting their ratings board was a bunch of idiots and correcting their original, cowardly decision (I maintain the board punished Blue Valentine for its emotional honesty because it made a bunch of parents face the fact that no, cute children don’t solve everything and yes, your lives are empty). And second to Harvey Weinstein for masterminding the public shaming of the MPAA. Lainey kept going on about too many screenings but really, all this publicity only helped Blue Valentine’s case. Every positive review and exclamation of, “What a great movie,” only added to the demand to see it. Weinstein made it look like the MPAA was trying to put the kibosh on The Greatest Movie Of The Year Ever.
Special credit to Ryan Gosling, who was slated to attend the hearing with Weinstein and Cianfrance, because let’s face it. He sexied the board into submission.