Theater to ignore ‘Blue is the Warmest Color”s NC-17 rating

Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux play lovers in "Blue is the Warmest Color." Credit: Sundance Selects
Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux play lovers in “Blue is the Warmest Color.”
Credit: Sundance Selects

There are only a handful of theaters that, starting tomorrow, will be playing “Blue is the Warmest Color,” the French relationship saga that won this year’s Palme d’Or and has since generated mounds of breathless press. That isn’t because of its accolades (including the special Cannes award handed to its two lead actresses, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux). It’s because about 10 minutes of its three hours are devoted to, shall we say, “realistic” sex scenes between the two actresses. Rather than make cuts, its American distributor, Sundance Selects, has released it as is, embracing the dreaded/coveted NC-17 rating.

But one of the theaters showing it will not be sticking to the NC-17 law (which is, incidentally, not a law). IFC Center, in New York City’s Greenwich Village, will allow teens not yet 17 to buy a ticket. It is, after all, about a teen (Exarchopoulos) coming of age and entering adulthood. (In fact, though her character ages to be about 24, Exarchopoulos is in real life still 19.)

This has caused inevitable controversy, some of it calmed/inflamed by The New York Times’ A.O. Scott. The critic wrote an op-ed defending the decision, saying that his own 14 year old daughter has already seen it twice.

“My permissiveness has raised some eyebrows among friends and colleagues, and I am not necessarily holding myself up as a role model,” Scott admits. “You have your own rules, and your own reasons for enforcing them, and naked bodies writhing in ecstasy may not be something you want your kids to see. But in some ways, because of its tone and subject matter, ‘Blue’ is a movie that may be best appreciated by viewers under the NC-17 age cutoff.”

In addition to suggesting that a coming-of-age tale about a teenager (albeit one who grows to be around 24) should be seen by teenagers, Scott also points out that in France, the rating is a “12,” meaning that, yes, anyone over 12 can pay to see it. But surely some in America will take umbrage with comparing our mores with Europe’s, where matters are stereotypically more lax.

Perhaps refreshingly unmentioned in the piece — because it’s the largest elephant in the room — is whether parents would be cooler with their teens watching horrifically violent films, but not ones in which two people who at least like (and then love) eachother very much do their best to bring the other the most, ahem, happiness.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.