There has been plenty of heat on the MPAA as of late. Cult horror director Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen) recently had trouble with the organization giving his sequel to Hatchet an NC-17 rating, which is the financial kiss of death at the box office. They did the same with an upcoming Weinstein film starring Ryan Gosling titled Blue Valentine.
Upon receiving the NC-17 rating, The Weinstein Company filed litigation against the organization for an appeal to get their film down to an R-rating. This was a classic tale of Davey (a small studio) going up against the MPAA’s Goliath. The good news? They won.
News has just been released that TWC has won the appeal against the MPAA and the rating of Blue Valentine will get modified back down to a standard R. This is pretty historic for the industry, considering that nobody ever goes up against the MPAA and lives to tell the tale. It looks like the brothers Weinstein are now the exception to that rule.
This could very well change the face of how MPAA does things, as indie directors like Adam Green now have a case against the way the organization runs things. Consider this an official turning of the tide.
Check out the details in the full press release after the jump. Blue Valentine is expected to hit limited theaters on December 31st.
“BLUE VALENTINE” WINS MPAA APPEAL, NC-17 RATING MODIFIED TO R
Los Angeles (December 8, 2010) – Following a hearing this afternoon, The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced that it has won a unanimous appeal of the NC-17 rating initially given to its feature film Blue Valentine by the Motion Picture Association of America. The MPAA’s Classification and Rating Administration had bestowed the NC-17 due to one scene, a sexually intimate sequence between a married couple trying to repair their broken relationship.
The rare unanimous decision by the appeal board strengthens the ability of the film to reach audiences as an acknowledged award-season contender, already nominated for a Gotham Award and Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. It has also received wide kudos from critics such as Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger, who wrote, “If there’s any justice, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams will both earn Oscar nominations for their raw, arresting performances.”
“All of us – the filmmakers and cast – were united in our support for the film in its original form. After presenting our case to the MPAA appeal board today, they were convinced of the artistic nature of Blue Valentine and recognized that it was consistent with the kind of movies for which The Weinstein Company is known. We appreciate their decision to give the film an ‘R’ rating,” stated TWC Co-Chair Harvey Weinstein, who led the appeal with a team of attorneys including Alan R. Friedman and David Boies.
“Every so often you get to stand up for something that you believe in. We believed in presenting relationships and sexuality with an honesty and truthfulness often lacking in the grand tradition of Hollywood sensationalism,” stated Derek Cianfrance. “I am thankful the MPAA saw the light and were humble enough to reverse their decision, and I am also thankful for all the support from the industry and fans of Blue Valentine. This is a victory for free speech and artistic integrity.”
“I am so appreciative that the MPAA was gracious enough to reconsider their rating of the film,” offered star Ryan Gosling. “I can’t express how grateful I am to those in the media who stood up for the film and put their reputations on the line in using their voices to support something they believed in. This is a film that was created for the audience, to reflect how complex they are and to involve them in a dialogue that Derek Cianfrance has been trying to engage them in for twelve years. We’re over the moon to have the opportunity to finally be able to share it with those for whom it was intended.”
“It is amazing to be a part of this historic decision,” said Blue Valentine producer Jamie Patricof. “While this has been a frustrating distraction from the film, the outpouring of support from the industry, journalists and film fans has been truly moving. We are ecstatic, that the MPAA was able to see the honesty that Derek was able to achieve in this film and overturned the original rating, so the film can now be seen all across the world.”
Directed by Derek Cianfrance, written by Cianfrance, Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne, and produced by Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell and Alex Orlovsky, Blue Valentine will be released December 31, with plans to expand nationwide in January.