Will an NC-17 Rating Keep Audiences Away from 'Blue Valentine'?

Producers are appealing the rating of the Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams film about the disintegration of a marriage

The breakout film at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Blue Valentine has been the subject of some serious Oscar buzz as it's made its rounds at numerous film festivals around the world. But what could possibly stop the indie film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in its tracks? The NC-17 rating it was slapped with in early October.  (See the movie trailer below.)

 

 

The film (which is due in theaters on Dec. 31)  chronicles the rocky desintegration of a young couple's marriage. And though the movie does contain some minor nudity and explicit fighting, some in Hollywood are calling fowl at the sure-to-be-a-death-sentence-at-the-box-office rating. How many films do you know with NC-17 ratings that have won an Oscar? Or, for that matter, have made any money?

Fans of the film (including this writer, who was emotionally gutted after a screening at Sundance) have been waiting in anticipation to hear what producers plan to do with the film. Would they sacrifice their current version in order to make an R-rating? Would they march forward and hope for the best with the rating they've recieved?

Instead, the filmmakers are appealing the decision without any trims. “We respect the work of the MPAA,” Harvey Weinstein said in a statement, “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.”

The problem, it seems, is that the MPAA isn't exactly known for budging once they've made a decision on a film. They also do not allow appealing pictures to reference other films as examples.

But what sort of message is this sending out? Is a film about the raw and hard truths of marriage worse than a film stacked with gore or violence?

Would it affect your decision to see a movie if it had an NC-17 rating? Chime in below!

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