Weinstein to Appeal ‘Blue Valentine’ NC-17 Rating

The MPAA’s rating decision came as a surprise

Harvey Weinstein thanked the industry on Thursday for its support of Weinstein Company's "Blue Valentine" following its surprise NC-17 rating by the MPAA, announcing the ruling will be appealed next month.

"We want to express our deepest gratitude to our colleagues in the industry and in the media for their recent outpouring of support for Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine after the film surprisingly received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA," Weinstein said in a statement. "We are taking every possible step to contest the MPAA’s decision. We respect the work of the MPAA and we hope, after having a chance to sit down with them, they will see that our appeal is reasonable, and the film, which is an honest and personal portrait of a relationship, would be significantly harmed by such a rating."

The drama, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, was slapped with an unexpected adult rating last week by the Motion Picture Association for a single sex scene in which there is minimal nudity and the sex act is not even entirely shown.

The ratings board is believed to have objected to the raw tone of the scene, which is a pivotal moment in the breakdown of the marriage.

While the initial rating is made by a board consisting of parents of school-age children, appeals are heard by a separate board made up of representatives from film studios and exhibitors.

"Blue Valentine's" NC-17 is the latest in a string of controversial decisions by the MPAA ratings board and the appeals board. In the last few months, the ratings board handed out R ratings to two award-winning documentaries — "The Tillman Story," which was also released by Weinstein, and "A Film Unfinished." Both lost their appeals.

The MPAA would not comment on its reasons for the "Blue Valentine" rating, noting that it maintains a posture of silence on all films until the rating has been accepted.