Will a NC-17 rating kill Blue Valentine?

Blue Valentine received a NC-17 rating from the MPAA. Does this spell box office disaster?

Blue Valentine gets NC-17 RatingBlue Valentine is getting a lot of buzz in Hollywood, but it’s not because of the superstar casting of Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.

The upcoming Derek Cianfrance-directed film received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA, normally the kiss of death for box office success.

Why NC-17?

The MPAA rates movies depending on its content. Movies with excessive violence and sex scenes are normally given a “R” rating by the MPAA, so what makes Blue Valentine different?

In the movie, Gosling and Williams play a married couple going through a difficult time. Many reviewers cite a graphic hotel room romp as the likely deciding factor in the NC-17 rating.

Studio will appeal

The Weinstein Co. plans to appeal the ruling, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The company acquired the flick after it received high praise at the Sundance, Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals. The appeal is set for sometime in November with a scheduled release on Dec. 31.

What happens if the NC-17 rating sticks?

If The Weinstein Co. loses the appeal, it likely means that the company will have to either edit the offending scene(s) out or release the movie with the NC-17 rating.

Keeping the NC-17 rating means that anyone 17 and under is not permitted to see the movie in theaters, no matter what. Limiting the audience means limited box office sales, something movie studios need to make back their investment in the movie.

It could also limit Gosling’s and Williams’ Oscar chances. Critics were raving about the actors’ performances after festival season and keeping the NC-17 rating means the award committees will have to think twice before nominating the duo.

Watch the Blue Valentine trailer


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