Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The NC-17 Rating For 'Blue Valentine' Has Made Ryan Gosling Start Talking About The Patriarchy

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 18, 2010 6:57 AM
8 Comments
  • |


With The Weinstein Company being handed a double dose of bad news for Oscar season with their contenders "Blue Valentine" and "The King's Speech" being handed NC-17 and R ratings, respectively (the former apparently for a scene where Ryan Gosling performs oral sex on Michelle Williams, the latter for a sequence where Colin Firth stutters a bunch of f-bombs), the indie arm isn't taking this lying down.

They've already hired heavyweight lawyers Alan Friedman and David Boies to help in the battle against the MPAA. Friedman has experience with the MPAA, helping Weinstein overturn an NC-17 rating for Kevin Smith‘s “Zack And Miri Make A Porno” while Boies represented Al Gore in Bush v. Gore and helped battle California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage. And now, they've hit the press with some pretty quote-worthy statements from the cast and teams around the film (hence this post).

In a release titled "The Weinstein Company Accepts NC-17 Rating on Blue Valentine in Order to Appeal It" (funny stuff guys), Ryan Gosling is so upset over this thing he goes straight for the p-word saying, "You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen." Whoa, whoa settle down there first year women's studies student. OK, so while the quote sounds like it was lifted out of a term paper, the actor does have a point. The onscreen shenanigans for guys tend to get far more leeway than for women. Frankly, there is more graphic material spoken in most R-rated comedies than is actually shown with painful honesty in "Blue Valentine."

Meanwhile, 'King's Speech' director Tom Hooper is his reserved, British self, simply stating, "I hope that language can be judged by its context just as violence is currently judged in context. The f-word in ‘The King's Speech’ is not being used in its sexual sense, or in its aggressive sense, but as a release mechanism to help a man overcome a stammer in the context of speech therapy."

But if Gosling's cerebral approach and Hopper's practical arguments don't work, lawyer Alan Friedman isn't afraid to go straight to the constitution arguing that the R for "The King's Speech" "violates The Weinstein Company’s right to freedom of speech under the state and US constitution." Clearly this ratings controversy is making everyone lose their heads a little bit; let's hope all the parties involved can cool off and these films can be properly re-assessed.

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

8 Comments

  • George | December 3, 2010 10:09 AMReply

    In 'Greenberg,' AN R RATED FILM, Ben Stiller performs oral sex on an UNCOMFORTABLE Greta Gerwig. There is nothing disturbing in the oral sex scene in 'Blue Valentine' UNLESS YOU'RE 5 YEARS OLD!!!! Please would you friggin' change Blue Valentine to an R? PLEASE!!!

  • Ryan | November 18, 2010 11:15 AMReply

    Gosling and the Weinsteins are pointing the finger at the MPAA for having bad judgement toward the evaluation of the films content. The effect the rating has on who shows the movie and who will not is secondary to the evaluation of the film's content.

    You're right, they are secretly just upset because they cannot make as much money on their film now and they might not win any Oscars. I just don't want to think about movies as being vehicles for making money and winning Oscars.

    So, I'm not missing the point...it's just that the "Point" is pathetic. Rating movies is all about money and winning awards...Pathetic. Thanks for helping me in my ignorance.

  • Bryan | November 18, 2010 10:50 AMReply

    @ Ryan,

    There is definitely a difference between NC-17 and R. The most obvious is the perception to that rating and the theaters that are willing to show those.

  • Tyler | November 18, 2010 10:48 AMReply

    @Ryan

    I think you're completely missing the point here. The reason people are upset is due the fact that an NC-17 rating pretty much eliminates the chance of said film being played anywhere outside of an art house theatre.

  • David | November 18, 2010 9:00 AMReply

    In this day and age, what newspaper is going to refuse ad revenue from a NC-17 film?

  • Ryan | November 18, 2010 8:51 AMReply

    The MPAA is not a harsh dictatorship oppressing a culture of people. They are not censoring people either. They just give the movie a rating. If the mainstream public allows the ratings system to influence what they watch, then it is they who are responsible for the effect the rating has on the movie.

    The only logical way to interpret peoples outrage at this rating is to assume that the movie going public want people of all ages, including children and even babies and infants, to be allowed to watch Blue Valentine, for that is the only difference between an NC-17 and an R rating. R means kids, infants, etc. can see the movie with an adult...NC-17 means that they Cannot see the movie with an adult.

    So all this outrage over peoples babies not getting to watch an Oral Sex scene with Michelle Williams is really...well...CRAZY...LOONY...oh wait...LOS ANGELES. Yes, the people of Los Angeles seem to think that everyone should be allowed to do anything, as long as they are not a Republican, Like watching any movie they want at any time, even if it means showing a Porno to a baby (as long as the baby is not a Republican).

    Final thought...I am NOT a Republican...but after spending enough time in Hollywood around the movie business, I'm certainly not proud to be a Democrat...a bunch of Baby Corrupters.

    PS- Most of the Weinstein's post Miramax efforts have been mediocre compared to what they accomplished while at Miramax. This movie looks no different...Dull, Boring, dare I say Forgettable. Maybe they should retire and take over the MPAA.

  • Zack | November 18, 2010 7:51 AMReply

    Yeah, I don't get that either. The last five Best Picture winners have all been rated R, and almost all of them (not counting the fairly ridiculous one for "Slumdog Millionaire") have been a harder R than it sounds like "The King's Speech" is.

  • BradZuhl | November 18, 2010 7:39 AMReply

    The NC-17 for Blue Valentine is inexcusable. But is an R rating going to really hurt The King's Speech? Can't imagine that many tweens or teens were going to check it out to begin with. And any blue hairs who see the trailer or TV spot aren't going to be put off by an R. Just because it's an R they're not going to mistake it for Tarantino.

Email Updates