MPAA Revokes NC-17 for “Blue Valentine”

Well, that was slightly anticlimactic. Clearly deciding that the best way to save face on this one was to get it out of the way ASAP, the MPAA unanimously voted today to reverse the NC-17 rating for Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine.” The film will ship out to theaters with a more audience-friendly R. The decision was apparently made directly after Harvey Weinstein made his personal appeal to the board.

After all the news of The Weinstein Company going all out on the legal team, you have to wonder how easily the MPAA can be intimidated these days if they were so willing to overturn that decision. I mean, wouldn’t you at least expect there to be a couple holdouts? Why did you give the film an NC-17 rating in the first place if you could be so easily convinced by the argument for an R rating? Are they all sheep, or just idiots?

In any case, congrats to “Blue Valentine,” which should get a significant boost in the awards race with an R rating and all the free publicity to boot. Unless some major critical and guild support builds for the film in the next month or so, I still don’t see it sneaking into the Best Picture lineup, but screenplay, actor and actress are more than possible. I’ll hopefully make one more round of updated Oscar predictions before the NY and LA critics’ circles start announcing this weekend, but I’m a bit stretched at the moment.

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