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.
About The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as Scream, Spy Kids and Scary Movie. Since its launch, TWC and Dimension Films have also released such films as Grindhouse, Lucky Number Slevin, 1408, I’m Not There, The Mist, The Great Debaters, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Reader, The Road, Clerks II, Factory Girl, Halloween, A Single Man, The Pat Tillman Story, Piranha 3D and such recent Oscar nominees as Nine and Inglourious Basterds.
Currently in release is Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. Upcoming films include John Wells’ feature directing debut Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Rosemary DeWitt, Maria Bello and Chris Cooper. Recently wrapping is My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson and Julia Ormond, with new installments of Spy Kids 4 and Scream 4 currently in production.
LT-LA (for Blue Valentine)