BLUE VALENTINE, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, in a film already acclaimed by critics, tells the honest and personal story of a troubled marriage, and yet apparently drew an NC-17 due to one scene, a sexually intimate sequence between a married couple trying to repair their broken relationship.
Gosling comments, “You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.”
“The MPAA’s decision on Blue Valentine unmasks a taboo in our culture, that an honest portrayal of a relationship is more threatening than a sensationalized one,” says Williams. “Mainstream films often depict sex and violence in a manner that is disturbing and very far from reality. Yet, the MPAA regularly awards these films with a more audience friendly rating, enabling our culture’s desensitization to violence, rape, torture and brutality. Our film does not depict any of these attributes. It’s simply a candid look at the difficulties couples face in sustaining their relationships over time. Blue Valentine opens a door for couples to have a dialogue about the everyday realities of many relationships. This film was made in the spirit of love, honesty and intimacy. I hope that the MPAA will hear our pleas and reconsider their decision.”
In order to appeal, TWC is forced to accept the NC-17 rating for now, the first step in the appeals process. Initially TWC sought to go outside of the ratings board, and release the film unrated, however in the last 10 days so much support of the film has been garnered that TWC has decided to move forward with an official MPAA appeal. “Over the past year I have witnessed audiences all over the world personally relating to the story and characters, so brilliantly and bravely performed by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams” states director, Derek Cianfrance. He adds, “The one positive to come out of this miss-directed decision, is the passionate outpouring of support from the industry, the media, and the fans of the film. I have yet to meet someone who has seen the film who agrees with this ultra-conservative decision.”
“Stamping this film with the rarely used NC-17 is a travesty,” says attorney Friedman. “That rating is out of sync with R ratings awarded to films for sexual conduct, where the scenes in question are far less sensitively handled. The scene, consistent with the entire film, like all of BLUE VALENTINE, was shot with great care and tact. In fact, the NC-17 suggests a coarseness of content that is nowhere to be seen. I look forward to providing the appeal board with the chance to correct this mistake by lowering the rating to an R.”
As both films are slated for an end of the year release and are considered by many to be leading awards contenders, TWC hopes to come to a resolution on an expedited timetable.
View the full article here goes into more detail about the King’s Speech and it’s R rating.
And I thought I could love Ryan Gossling any more….