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

Philly man charged with lying about PennDOT overtime…

The office of Attorney General Kathleen Kane is charging a Philly man with perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury investigating overtime abuses at PennDOT.

International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.

The Word

Is Avril Lavigne's new music video racist?

Some fans say Avril Lavigne's new music video is offensive to Japanese people.

Television

Jodie Foster married girlfriend Alexandra Hedison this weekend

No need to rely on cryptic Golden Globe speeches for your movie star sexual orientation questions anymore: Jodie Foster is married to a lady. Foster…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Movies

Interview: Rza mourns his 'Brick Mansions' co-star Paul…

"Brick Mansions" star Rza talks about how fun Paul Walker was, how America is slow to accept cool trends and on the new Wu-Tang album as a piece of art.

NHL

Four things the Flyers must do to win…

It's do or die for the Flyers. Well, almost.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Eagles will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas, play four…

The Eagles have an impressive, challenging and exciting schedule in 2014.

NFL

NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule.

Tech

Spider-Man's web shooters get real

A German lab technician has created a working Spider-Man web shooter, which fires pellets and a harpoon-tipped, retractable fishing line instead of a liquid web.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.