“I just can’t wait to stand over your shoulder while you change the rating.”
Ever since "Blue Valentine" got nailed with a baffling NC-17 rating, things have been uncharacteristically quiet from the Weinstein camp. And now we know why. Harvey Weinstein has been busy hiring lawyers (in what we hope inspires the best "Law & Order: Los Angeles" episode ever).
EW reports that Weinstein has hired Alan Friedman and David Boies to help in his 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 Gore in Bush v. Gore and helped battle California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage. In other words, Harvey is going in there guns blazing.
While there has been some speculation as to which scene in particular so offended the MPAA they had to tag the film with an NC-17 rating, according to Weinstein, the scene in question shows Ryan Gosling's character performing oral sex on Michelle Williams'.
Pointing out the inconsistency of the MPAA, Harvey draws up an example of a film released by his brother Bob Weinstein's Dimension Films earlier this year saying, "If ['Piranha 3D'] got an NC-17, I’d be the first going, ‘All right, we gotta cut some of that stuff.’ It’s ridiculous — a penis got coughed up in the movie by a piranha! They show more in four scenes [in that movie] than we do in [all of 'Blue Valentine']! And ours is a serious love story. I don’t understand it.”
Moreover, Weinstein is fully aware of how an NC-17 rating will affect not only the box office but his awards chances adding, "....I’m worried that if we don’t get the R it could jeopardize the business of the movie and more importantly my actors … because they are eminently nominatable.”
As to whether or not they will edit the film in order to secure a much more box office- and awards-friendly rating Weinstein says he will not take any scissors to Derek Cianfrance's film. If there is anything to be learned from any of this, particularly for you aspiring filmmakers out there, its that a chewed-up and regurgitated penis is more likely to get an R rating than an honest, though not particularly explicit, sex scene in a relationship drama.