After Derek Cianfrance's heart-wrenching 'Blue Valentine' was given an NC-17 rating, MPAA naysayers were quick to point out that this was another example of the organization saying violence is more acceptable than nudity in films. 'Blue Valentine's' producer, Jamie Patricof, was confused by the decision -- stating, "I just don't understand them." That sentiment is being echoed across the board by audiences and critics who feel this Oscar contender deserves better.
According to E! Online, Patricof says the worst part about the whole ordeal is that the ratings board won't provide much of an explanation for what feels like a harsh ruling. The scene in question involves Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as the emotionally distraught couple who head to a motel in an attempt to save their broken marriage. There's some sex and minimal nudity, but apparently the MPAA has also taken issue with the "dramatic elements" of the raw and pivotal scene.
While 'Blue Valentine's' backers are appealing the verdict, it's going to be a difficult process. E! points out that appeal rules state that filmmakers can't reference the ratings of other movies while defending their own -- something that might actually open the MPAA's eyes to this startling ruling.
"I've seen a lot of movies. I just saw 'Jackass' and I was dumbfounded -- you see a lot of fully frontal male nudity. I'm sitting there thinking, 'Do I want my 15-year-old daughter seeing this?' Probably not. Do I want her to see [Blue Valentine]? It's probably not my first choice, but I don't think it would harm her," Patricof said.
More importantly, the producer made it clear that the filmmakers have no intention of changing the film -- and thank goodness, because it could only hurt the integrity of this honest and intimate portrait of a troubled relationship. As Kevin Kelly pointed out in his review, "This has definitely been the most impressive and moving film I've seen at Sundance ... ." Now let's hope the MPAA comes to its senses and revises the rating before 'Blue Valentine' winds up in motion picture purgatory alongside other films branded with the scarlet mark of commercial suicide.