Much has already been said about the so-called controversial sex scene in 'Blue Valentine,' which infamously landed the movie with an NC-17 rating that was eventually reversed.
With 'Blue Valentine' hitting theaters on Wednesday, we're taking a closer look at the movie, about the highs and lows of a marriage over five years, to determine just how controversial the scene really is, and whether it actually deserved its NC-17 rating. (The short answer: No.)
What happens in the scene?
During a high point in their relationship, Dean (Ryan Gosling) performs oral sex on his wife, Cindy (Michelle Williams), in a passionate scene that was filmed in one shot. The sex is mutual -- unlike a previous scene in the film, in which Dean tries to make love to his wife on the floor of a low-brow motel, all in an attempt to save their marriage.
Was its NC-17 rating justified?
No. The scene is certainly raw, but it fits in with the overall mood and tone of the story. Nothing about it is shocking or explotative; if anything, it's a little sad, given the low points we've already witnessed in their marriage. In fact, viewers may be surprised by how uncontroversial the scene actually is, especially if they've already seen 'Black Swan' (more on that here).
Is the movie still for adults-only?
Yes. The film's frank depiction of love, sex, marriage and the struggles that come with it is definitely geared towrads the adult crowd. And while the sex scenes may be uncontroversial to some, it's still an R-rated movie, which means you should definitely call a sitter if you're thinking about seeing it.
Beyond the sex scene, what will people be talking about?
If you're unsure whether you want to see 'Blue Valentine,' you may want to consider the Oscar-worthy performances by Gosling and Williams. Here is a rare case in which two young actors are at the top of their game, acting in a story that is honest, emotional and real. You won't want to miss two of the best performances of the year, especially if they are nominated in January.
'Blue Valentine' Trailer
'Blue Valentine' opens in limited release on Dec. 29.
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