Weinstein Co. to appeal 'Valentine' rating

The Ryan Gosling-Michelle Williams film received an NC-17.

The Weinstein Co. will appeal the restrictive NC-17 rating given to its marital drama "Blue Valentine" by the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration.

Directed by Derek Cianfrance, the film stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a couple whose marriage is going sour, and the scene that has attracted the rating board's scrutiny involves a bout of drunken, hotel-room sex.

The movie, which the Weinstein Co. is positioning for awards consideration after acquiring it at the Sundance Film Festival and screening it at both Cannes and Toronto, is slated to begin a platform release Dec. 31. The formal appeal hearing will take place some time in November.

Weinstein Co. co-head Harvey Weinstein, who has used ratings controversies in the past to maximum publicity value, issued a statement Thursday, thanking those who have criticized branding the serious-minded film with an NC-17 while also diplomatically extending an olive branch to the MPAA.

"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. "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."

Films carrying an NC-17 rating are off-limits to anyone 17 and under.