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Blue Valentine facing dreaded NC-17 rating in US

Blue Valentine

Story by Jack Foley

MARITAL drama Blue Valentine is reportedly facing the possibility of the dreaded NC-17 rating in the US, which would render it off limits to anyone under the age of 18.

The film, which is due to be shown at the forthcoming 54th London Film Festival, stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a couple whose marriage is disintegrating.

The MPAA’s Classification and Rating Administration Board has yet to officially issue its rating and would not comment on its decision but the Weistein Company, which is planning to distribute the film in the US, could proceed with an uncut release in spite of the rating.

It acquired the film following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January and has subsequently screened it in a slightly trimmed-down version at both the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, where it has generally met with a positive response from critics.

The ratings situation is the second time this year that the company has faced a decision by the MPAA it has not liked.

It has already gone through the board’s appeals process in August to ask that the R-rated Amir Bar Lev documentary, The Tillman Story, be given a lower PG-13 certificate. But that appeal was lost.

But with Blue Valentine, the company is keen to afford both Gosling and Williams a valid shot at Oscar glory – and an NC-17 could complicate an awards bid, especially as both leads have been tipped.

Other films to have flirted with NC-17 classification have gone on to succeed, however, with the likes of Boys Don’t Cry and Requiem For A Dream being two of the most recent examples.

Blue Valentine is showing at the London Film Festival on Friday, October 15, at 6pm, and Sunday, October 17, at 1.30pm at – respectively – Vue West End and NFT1 on the Southbank.