The current controversy over the Motion Picture Association of America slapping Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine with an NC-17 rating, and then repealing it, has once again brought into question the usefulness of the MPAA as a whole. In fact, renowned film critic Roger Ebert goes so far to say that “there are only two meaningful ratings: R and not-R” and has called for a total overhaul of the system because, in his words, “our national standards of taste have changed.”
Ebert cites the example of The King’s Speech, which carries an R rating for “some language.” For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie (and we urge you to check it out) there is only one scene with any vulgar language. And while the one scene does have multiple uses of the F-word, the rest of the movie is tame. Compare that to something like 2012 which was rated PG-13 also for “some language” in addition to “intense disaster sequences.” While there wasn’t much language, director Roland Emmerich (possible spoiler coming up) pretty much ended the world, killing billions of people in the process. So mass genocide gets a PG-13 while The King’s Speech gets an R. That simply doesn’t seem right.
What does Ebert propose we do? And do we agree? Read more after the jump. Read More »
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In a rare case of a successful appeal before the MPAA, the NC-17 rating initially slapped on Derek Cianfrance‘s Blue Valentine has been overturned. Harvey Weinstein personally appeared before the appeals board to plead on behalf of the film. The film will go out to theaters with an R rating. Read More »
It’s award season, and The Hollywood Reporter has begun posting their series of roundtable discussions with the contenders. Last month they posted an one-hour discussion between screenwriters Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours), Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3), John Wells (The Company Men), Todd Phillips (Due Date) and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) and the Animators roundtable discussion between Bonnie Arnold (producer, How to Train Your Dragon), Roy Conli (producer, Tangled), Bob Last (producer, The Illusionist), Tom McGrath (director, Megamind), Chris Meledandri (producer, Despicable Me) and Lee Unkrich (director, Toy Story 3).
Today they have posted the actors roundtable, which features James Franco (127 Hours), Duvall (Get Low), Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right). Here are the listed highlights:
James Franco admitted he hates a lot of his movies. Robert Duvall questioned David Fincher’s shooting style. And Ryan Gosling opened up about getting fired by Peter Jackson. It was an especially candid Hollywood Reporter Roundtable when six of the year’s most awards-worthy actors — got together Nov. 5 at Siren Studios in Hollywood for an hourlong discussion.
It’s great to watch these amazing actors talk with each other about their craft. You can watch the entire one-hour long roundtable after the jump.
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Given the way the film has been shafted by the MPAA, I think most of us here at /Film want to take every reasonable opportunity to make sure people know about Blue Valentine, which has been unfairly slapped with a restrictive NC-17 rating. Don’t worry: we probably won’t have the opportunity for a Tron Legacy level of saturation. For now I’ll have to be content with presenting the moody, atmospheric new poster for the film. Read More »
Posted on Monday, November 8th, 2010 by David Chen
A few weeks ago, we learned that Derek Cianfrance’s great film, Blue Valentine, would be receiving an NC-17 rating, a fact which upset me deeply. What put the film over the edge? A lengthy, painfully uncomfortable sequence in which Dean (Ryan Gosling) tries to have sex with Cindy (Michelle Williams) in a hotel room. With their marriage falling apart, Dean is looking for anything that will keep the two of them together. Cindy, however, is not as eager to work things out. It’s a beautiful sequence and one that’s shocking for its seeming verisimilitude. The film’s use of nudity is not salacious or even tantalizing; on the contrary, it depicts sex as a desperate act of last resort.
Understandably, the Weinstein Company swore they’d appeal the ridiculous decision. “We’re going to have to overturn this. This is serious stuff. This could really hurt the movie,” Weinstein said. We hope they succeed, but the Blue Valentine situation is not the only news item that has demonstrated the MPAA’s recent idiocy.
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The MPAA has made a lot of boneheaded decisions over the years, and the latest was slapping the film Blue Valentine with an NC-17 rating. That effectively dooms the movie when it comes to advertising and awareness, as a great many print and television outlets won’t run ads for an ‘adults only’ movie, which is how the NC-17 rating brands a film.
And all this for what? Only a scene in which the two main characters, played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, try to keep their marriage together. As the film’s producer, Jamie Patricof said, his film gets slapped with an NC-17, while The Lovely Bones was PG-13? While the film’s distributor The Weinstein Company has promised to appeal the ruling, Mr. Patricof is expressing his own confusion, and vows not to cut the film. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 by David Chen
This week, Peter Sciretta, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley praise Frank Darabont’s The Walking Dead, discuss the groundbreaking 3D of Jackass 3D, and lambaste the MPAA’s ridiculous Blue Valentine NC-17 rating.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us on Sunday (10/24) at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Paranormal Activity 2.
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Blue Valentine was one of the hits of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it has been considered a likely awards contender thanks to great performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. So there was no small amount of shock expressed last week when the MPAA slapped the film with the NC-17 rating, effectively killing any chance of wide advertising and booking.
Now The Weinstein Company, which bought Blue Valentine’s distribution rights out of Sundance, has released a statement about the rating, and plans to appeal. Read More »
2010 was the first time I’d ever been to the Sundance Film Festival and the first movie I saw there was Blue Valentine, a devastating parallel portrayal of both the blossoming and wilting of a modern relationship starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and directed by Derek Cianfrance. With those two stars, two powerful performances and a beautiful structure, I figured the film was destined to at least be seen by audiences for awards contention and that seemed to be its destiny when The Weinstein Company purchased the film at the festival. So now, with the film nearing its limited release date in December, a trailer has finally been released and – in even more surprising news – the MPAA has given it an NC-17 rating. Hit the jump to read why and see the brand new trailer. Read More »