'Blue Valentine' actors unhappy with NC-17 rating
December 7th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

'Blue Valentine' actors unhappy with NC-17 rating

That NC-17 rating has "Blue Valentine" stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams seeing red.

The drama, which tells the story of a young couple whose marriage is falling apart, received the racy rating because of its intimate sex scenes, meaning both marketing and ticket sales could be affected.

"It's an inappropriate rating," an outraged Gosling, 30, tells CNN, adding that violent movies rarely get slapped with an NC-17. "I mean, you go see films and the guys are getting their arms and their legs cut off and that's an R rating, but ... if it's in the direction of a woman receiving pleasure, you know, and she's complicit in a sexual act, it's pornographic."

Williams agrees that there's a double standard when it comes to both women and violence in movies.

"That's the thing that really gets me as a parent," says the mother of 5-year-old Matilda, her daughter with the late Heath Ledger. "Violence as pornography is condoned and accepted and given a sort of stamp-of-approval rating, and we're punished."

Prior to filming the scene in question, Gosling and director Derek Cianfrance told Williams, 30, she'd have final say on what appears on screen.

"I was in charge of how it was going to be represented and handed out into the world," she tells CNN. "As the woman in the situation, I looked at it and I thought, I've never seen that in a movie before, and it strikes me as honest and … I mean there's nothing sort of tawdry or salacious or pornographic at all about it."

Judge for yourself when "Blue Valentine" arrives in theaters on December 31.

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Filed under: movies

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Brittany

    The film Blue Valentine from The Denver Film Fest get a NC-17 rating.

    December 20, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Aziz

    This is honestly one of the greatest films I've ever seen. Its honest and real and thats what makes it a beautifully devastating love story... I really hope the bs mpaa rethinks this foolish decision.

    December 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MOK

    BOO HOO you pu$$ies – f-in actors – stop thinking and just project your "vision" of the scene and shut up. Je$us Chr1st enough already

    December 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TimmyK

    pretty awesome that Ryan (Gosling?) is actually defending this move in the comments section – wow. NC17 is the 5-finger death punch. adios.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Me

    Nah...I think I will rent it...14$ for that kind of movie is too much...

    December 8, 2010 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Blitz

    Who cares about the rating???? Most parents do not following the rating system anyway. If their kids want to see the movie or play a video game, they let them. I have been very surprised over the years at the people from my church, teachers at school, and others who just let their children watch and do anything they want. I know several 10 yr old kids that play the new Call of Duty which is rated "M" for mature. No one cares anymore!!!!!!!

    December 8, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ben

    Ryan, you say Dark Knight is too intense for some kids. That may be true but that doest mean it deserves an R rating. The key word here is some. Also PG-13 means what?? Parental Guidance. With that rating the public is being warned that portions of the movie may be too extreme for children and that PARENTS should decide if their kids are able to see the movie or not.

    So honestly, I dont see a problem. Parents need to "Man Up" and be responsible for what their kids see and listen to.

    December 8, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. xjdavid

    The big, obvious difference is that violence is fake, nudity is real. By the time kids are 13, they know the explosions and blood are fake. But there's no way to fake nudity.

    December 8, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. studdmuffins

    Hypocritical puritanical values continue to dominate our culture.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. IMDB

    The Batman comic books The Long Halloween, The Killing Joke, The Man Who Laughs and the first two comics to feature the Joker character served as an influence on the film's storyline. - IMDb Trivia: The Dark Knight (2008)

    December 8, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. CTEd

    If the SAW series of films are all rated R... how can something like this be rated NC17?

    December 8, 2010 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Good call. Hostel, too. And don't guys get beejers in R-rated movies (Single White Female comes to mind)? How do they justify that?

      December 8, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |

    sorry bud, batman is batman. you can create a new story but it is still batman. your defence againts bob is pretty sad and flimsy. he clearly points out that batman is and always will be violence, hence he is a crime fighter. yet you switch gears and say Nolan wrote a new story? lol that was good for a laugh, really a sad defence

    December 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MS

    Abolish the redundant rating system

    December 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • haarkonen

      the rating system is meant for parents to use as general guidance. there is a purpose, no matter how shoddily performed.

      December 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      Who knows. This rating system will get more people into see the movie. E.T. got a PG rating for saying two bad words to get it out of the G rating. NC-17 might bring the people who want to see more than what they could have seen in a PG-13 movie. Quit gripping about the rating systems and work with it.

      December 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ituri

      There is no "working with it." When a film gets an NC-17 rating, most theaters won't ever, ever show it. So how do people who want to see it go see it when there are 20 theaters in the entire country that dare to show NC-17 films?

      The ratings group does a shoddy job, so should be dismissed. A new group with NO SECRECY should be created to fairly rate movies.

      December 8, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. brad1001

    If I want to see people getting it on, I'll buy a ticket to see a show. On the other hand, if the movie can't carry itself without explicit scenes, then don't try to pass it off as some general viewing movie, call it what it is, graphic. If it deserves an NC-17 rating, so be it. If they don't want that rating, shey need to go back to the editing room and make some changes.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kristin

    I think this rating is total BS. Black Swan got an R rating and it shows a girl going down on another girl. No nudity or anything but supposedly this scene in question doesn't have any either. I think the movie looks great and I'll see it regardless but I think the ratings system is complete crap.

    December 7, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ryan is the man

    Guys – I have to agree with Ryan here – a tuna sandwich makes a great lunch...but it isn't a horror film. I'm pretty sure thats the point he was trying to make. Let's put this in perspective...if you recall the movie bushwhacked with daniel stern, you'll remember the scene at the beginning where he orders a pack of cigarettes, some snowballs, and a jumbo coke. OK guys I already hear you saying "but hey, daniel stern was in home alone with joe pesci and they played bandits". Well let me just counter that by reminding you that daniel stern was also in rookie of the year. Thanks Ryan and keep up the good work!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      Wow this brings back awesome memories: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97WTOdVMdpg go to 1:17 and watch him order at the deli. pay attention to the guy's face that takes the order. lol

      December 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Cieje Valentine

    The MPAA is a joke.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Two MPAA guys walk into a bar. They see Ryan Gosling sitting at the bar with his head between Michelle Williams Legs. One says to the other "I hear the food is good here."

      December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ryan

    Oh and I think that the reason the Dark Knight is a great movie is because it WASN'T made by a fan of the comic. It was made by a fan of good filmmaking. If it was made by a comic book fan it would have been like Watchmen, or as I call it "Unwatchablemen".

    December 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      You said that before, guy. Tone it down.

      December 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jango Davis

      I liked the Watchmen...it's a good film. I thought it had points about it that were better than Alan Moore's very self-indulgent source material.

      December 8, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  19. spontaniasm

    There is something wrong with the world when a blog about a movie spends half its time discussing and insulting religious beliefs... being a new parent I am realizing that ratings aren't really for anyone but parents anyway. its just there to let you know roughly how "bad" the movie might get. so really a movie's rating is pointless. watch it before your kid does and make a call! be an active parent.

    December 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • haarkonen

      finally...a reasonable, sane voice.

      December 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jango Davis

      Actually, what's wrong with the world is that it's overpopulated. Thanks for your contribution.

      December 8, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • vdee08

      so true, jango.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I agree with Jango. The world's biggest problem is overpopulation. That, and the rampant mating and procreation of stupid people. We'd all be better off if stupid people were all born infertile.

      December 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jiggered

    Hey actors – stop flashing your action

    December 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Zebula

    Who wants to see white trash doin' it anyway?

    December 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  22. the_dude

    I say we get lady gaga to be the next batman that way she won't have to tuck her sack back anymore.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • booo

      They took my comment down! Booooo. We get to see where Matilda came from!

      @ the_dude – BTW, Lady Gaga is hot.

      December 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • vdee08

      @the dude-absolutely hilarious, and oh so true.
      @booo-are you blind or retarded? lady gaga is hideous and should be removed from society in as violent a manner as possible.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  23. purplebride

    Quite frankly the rating sparks curiosity in me more than anything. I mean, they must really be getting down for that rating. Zack and miri had 2 versions when they got slapped with an nc17 I saw the R version and its pretty graphic. So one would wonder exactly what calls for an nc17 vs an R rating.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  24. G

    Since I can stand neither Ryan Gosling or Michelle Williams, what the movie is rated is beside the point.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  25. md

    Not going to see it.....I think these two actors are both overrated.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zebula


      December 7, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hannah

      No way!!! How?? As much as I dislike her I think she's a good actress and I loooooove him (for obvious reasons, but I also consider him to be an amazing actor.) Go watch Half Nelson!

      December 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Cree

    The Gosling and Williams both kinda have a point.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  27. jamie

    LMFAO @ mormon hater! mormons usually only have one wife but all you other mormons have to admit you are a bunch of weirdos. my advice to you is don't advise others to educate them selfs about the mormon religion. we all remember the south park episode about mormons, and they basically got it right. plus a wheel barrle full of other crazy stuff you believe and practice. don't believe me? just look on youtube.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Bobbo

    Don't forget that the jerks performing these ratings are protected from public scrutiny. It's virtually impossible to find out who they are. It's time this came to an end. They do not deserve this protection.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Mormon @ MormonHater

    You hate me because you want to be me.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • NotMormon

      @Mormon I am not completely sure that you understand the Mormon religion either. Your vulgar use of words is offending and shows a lack of intelligence for real communication. All religion was written by men. We are all in the same classification and no one is "special" enough to have religion given just to them. If religion is true and the creator is so powerful he would not have entrusted such powerful scripture to be passed on by mere men.....If money was not involved (which it always is) I might believe there was some truth there, but religion is in it for profit, pure and simple.

      December 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Religion was written by men to control women. True story (about fiction, i.e. religion.)

      December 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Mormon

    Don't show a dude going down on a chick and it won't get that rating. Sounds simple enough.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      @ Morman – But's its ok to have an R rating with a woman giving a man a BJ (& showing her wipe her mouth off). That's not a double standard?!?

      December 8, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  31. Ryan

    Interesting that Heath Ledger is mentioned here. One of his last films, "The Dark Knight" was totally Violent. It really was arguably an R- rated movie. But it got released as a "PG-13" so that a bunch of kids can see the Joker stick a knife in a guys mouth and cut his face in half, or watch the Joker sew a bomb into a mans guts and blow him up. I think we've got some Double Standards going. So it's okay for Michelle William's husband to make an ultraviolent version of Batman for the kids, but not okay for anyone else to make violent movies. And if she makes a dirty movie it needs to be rated R not NC-17. I guess what all this is really saying is that the filmmakers should be allowed to rate their own movies. Every movie would be rated G for all audiences. Even Blue Valentine.

    December 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      No one actually saw the joker cut anything. Have you even watched the movie?!

      December 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Yes I have seen the Dark Knight like a million times. He sticks knife in dudes mouth while giving speech...eventually looks at another dude being held on knees. He says to that dude "why so serious". You then hear a loud Hans Zimmer sound cue while seeing a close up of the dude on knees face as he winces in terror. Then we get shot behind dead dude as he falls out of frame. So no, you didn't actually see the blade slice flesh, but that's the point, you see everything but that shot, so by shaving a few frames off the moment, they convert from an R to a PG-13. Either way, the moment still clarifies absolutely that the Joker stuck a knife in someones mouth and slices it through his face.

      Sorry...next time I'll include a copy of the script with my comment for absolute accuracy.

      December 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • peterman5000

      just watch Blue Velvet.

      December 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quis

      You do realize The Dark Knight didn't show any of the things you're mentioning, right? The assumption of gore is vastly different from the display of it.

      December 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Guys...I love the Dark Knight. It was one of my favorite movies recently. But, I'm 34 years old, and many people felt that the movie was way too intense for kids, who normally are the intended audience for superhero movies. The assumption of gore is often more devastating to people than the actual display. They have to use their imaginations and any good Horror director will tell you that people are more scared when you don't show everything and you make people image it themselves. The Dark Knight is great, but way too intense for some kids. Remember when Two Face is about to execute Gordon's son at the end of the movie. Holding a gun to a kids head while he and his mother begs for mercy. Though the gun didn't go off, it was a traumatic display. I watch horror films, and even I think it was too intense. Either way, Michelle Williams was married to the star of the Dark Knight and now she's complaining about violent movies. It seems Hypocritical to me. That's my point.

      December 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Except the dark knight is not for kids.

      December 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Batman is not for kids? It's a comic book. Comic books are most popular with kids. Batman is for everyone. But the Dark Knight made Batman too intense for everyone. So it got a PG-13. It should be PG. Again...I liked it, but just because I like something doesn't mean it's right for everyone.

      December 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Again, actually, you are incorrect. Read the comic books that inspired the movie, The Dark Knight. They were full of graphic violence, the Joker randomly killing people, shooting them in the spine, blowing them to bits, ALL DEPICTED in the frames of the comic books. I don't want my kids seeing that unless they are 15 years old at least. Certainly not at 13. I remember seeing it in comics when I was just ten years old (twenty-two years ago) and remember it vividly as being horrific and something I didn't understand. Batman is an adult's comic book, not a kid's comic book. You want to allow kids to watch it, go watch the crap spewed out by Joel Shumacher back in the 90s, if you want to watch a real Batman movie with the feel of the real comic books, you watch Christopher Nolan's version.

      December 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Thanks Bob, but from what I understand, the Dark Knight was written by The Nolan brothers and David Goyer. It was not based on a specific Batman comic, but was written by these three guys to be an original story. So, No Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns here. This ain't Sin City or 300. I also don't think the Nolan's are big Comic fans, but Goyer is. Either way my references to it being a comic book are not in reference to any one comic, but rather all Batman Comics. When Batman first came out, was the Joker as violent as you describe. I doubt it.

      December 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Did you ever read the comics? The Joker started out in Batman #1 as a homicidal maniac that left his victims with a grin on their faces back in 1940. His character has been pretty much the same since. He killed the second Robin and his girlfriend after brutally beating both of them with a crowbar, and then strapping a bomb to their chests, letting Batman know, and detonating it while Batman watched. That was in 1983. In 1988, he paralyzes Barbara Gordon by shooting her in the stomach and severing her spine in front of her father. You can't tell me the groundwork wasn't there for this demoralized and absolutely brutal character to be portrayed accurately onscreen, and that's exactly what Nolan did. This is NOT for kids. And this is only a fraction of what the character is like.

      December 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Funny how Christopher Nolan said his inspiration for the Dark Knight was the movie "HEAT". Is that a comic book? Nope, it's a movie. Oh, and I don't read comic books. I watch movies.

      December 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Oh and I think that the reason the Dark Knight is a great movie is because it WASN'T made by a fan of the comic. It was made by a fan of good filmmaking. If it was made by a comic book fan it would have been like Watchmen, or as I call it "Unwatchablemen".

      December 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      RYAN, you're completely wrong about the scenes you've mentioned. There is no on-screen violence in either of those scenes. The violence is IMPLIED, but notice, there is no blood present.

      December 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Thanks for missing my point Brian. But at least you got to watch a good movie. Next time think harder. I wrote a comment above about what you called "implied" violence. Either way the violence is there, blood or not. Try having Heath Ledger shove a knife in your mouth for a minute and half monlogue while talking about his child abuse and then tell me how you feel. I guess stuff like that happens to you everyday.

      December 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heath

      Don't waste your breathe guys. Ryan has zero debating skills and just rants when he knows he is wrong. He admits never reading comics and probably has never seen Batman movies since he can't recall them.

      On topic.. I want to see Michelle in these scenes so bring on NC-17

      December 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan's Mom

      Ryan! Get off my computer now!!!! You need to do your homework and brush your teeth! Don't give me that look young man! I will ground you and take away your iCarly viewing privileges. Leave these adults alone and get those bunny pajamas on I bought you for the holidays. Hurry up!

      Love Your Mom

      December 7, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      They deleted my comment because I called you all a bad name. Oh well, I guess you'll never know what it was. Thanks people. Hope you think harder in the future.

      December 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mack

      Ryan, you have no idea what you're talking about. Please go away.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Actually, Ryan, The Dark Knight's source material is called 'The Long Halloween.' Not exactly the origin of the Joker, but he plays a heavy roll. Halloween focuses heavily on the origin of Two Face, very similarly to TDK, as well as the exploits of Falcone, Maroni, and the other mob bosses. It wasn't a direct copy, like, say Watchmen, no, but it was HEAVILY inspired by it, no doubt.

      December 8, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan's Long Lost Brother Richard

      Ryan! I have finally found you! But based on all the input that you have put into this board, I no longer want to meet you. I have always prided myself through high school and college as a great debater, but seeing as you do not share my talent, I no longer believe that we could be brothers. I am forever saddened.

      December 8, 2010 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Spendlove

      Get a room already!

      December 8, 2010 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      This is where "parenting" comes into play. It's up to parents to determine what is right for their children to view, not the MPAA. A rating is a suggestion. While some kids may be more mature and able to handle very easily something like the Dark Knight and the VERY dark and heavy Batman comics... others may not. It's a parental decisions that should be made based on knowing your children and how they react to things. I loved Dark Knight and thought it did the characters perfect justice. I don't think it came anywhere near to an R rating. Saving Private Ryan, which was an R showed people getting hit by mortar shells, standing back up and picking their own arms up off the beach while their shoulder bleeds all over the place. Dark Knight didn't come close to that.

      Where violence serves the story, you get an R rating... where violence becomes nothing but gratuitous and there simply to be there, you get the NC-17.

      December 8, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Thank Goodness I am not Ryan

      Ryan- Comics are actually written for adults, not for children. As an avid comic fan and reader for over 25 years I can tell you very few are actually written for young people.

      December 8, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • vdee08

      @ryan-you are retarded. get a life and stop watching movies. maybe you should read a comic book or something. all of your points and counterpoints are moot and useless.

      December 8, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan's Birth Mother

      I thank God everyday I put you up for adoption.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • chewbacca

      hahaha...these people are funny...the only time i ever read comics was when i was a kid...and yeah ryan...they are completely missing your point....

      December 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • StupidRyanface

      How do you see something a million times. You're such a stupid face. I bet you've only seen it a hundred thousand times.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |

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