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Blue Valentine: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams Too Hot For Hollywood

Posted by on October 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM EST

blue valentine ratingBlue Valentine which stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams might just be too sexy for Hollywood.

The movie Blue Valentine might just be too blue for the big screen. The movie staring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams is rumored to have sex scenes in it that are so intense and realistic that they are getting the movie a dreaded NC-17 rating.

The NC-17 rating is normally a death blow to any movie. Most large theater chains will simply not show an NC-17 rated movie. Unlike an R rated movie which people under 17 can go to as long as they are accompanied by an adult NC-17 movies require all ticket buyers to be at least 18 years old – no exceptions. This can greatly cut down n the potential audience for a movie.

Blue Valentine is a heavy drama in which Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play a couple who’s marriage is falling apart. It screened at Sundance, Cannes and the Toronto Film Festival. After seeing it at Sundance The Weinstein Company purchased it. Buzz from the festivals is surrounding both Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling as potential Oscar nominees. Both have been nominated before (he for Half Nelson and she for Brokeback Mountain). There has only been one NC-17 rated movie to ever garner an Oscar nomination. That movie is 1990’s Henry and June which was nominated for Best Cinematography. Releasing the movie as an NC-17 could greatly reduce the exposure it gets and severely harm the potential chances for any award nominations and all the free publicity that comes with it.

If they end up with an NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine, it leaves the Weinstein Company with three basic options.  They could petition the MPAA for a review of the rating. If no rating change is given they could then edit the movie and resubmit it until they get an R rating. They could also release the movie unrated. Since the Weinstein Company is not an MPAA signatory they are not beholden to the ratings. The problem with an unrated movie would be getting theaters to play it. They could also bite the bullet and release it as an NC-17.

There have been movies released as NC-17 that have made some good money, but most of that income comes from DVD sales. Most notable is the movie Showgirls. It got a wide release and made about $20 million at the box office, but it sold over $100 million in DVD’s. Still, Showgirls was universally panned as a terrible movie. If Blue Valentine is as good as the hype makes it out to be, it might be able to generate a good audience. But it is still a risk.

I personally think they will do what they need to do in order to get an R rating so that they can take advantage of any Oscar/Golden Globe award nominations/buzz they get. When the DVD comes out they will release it as unrated so you can see what was cut out. No matter how it pans out, it is great publicity for a film that was otherwise off most people’s radar just a few days ago.



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