Earlier today news broke that Blue Valentine, one of the critical darlings of this past year’s Sundance Film Festival, was slapped hard with an NC-17 rating by the 14th century progressives at the MPAA. The development is one that has brought shock to anyone who has seen the film, including yours truly, who reviewed it at the ‘dance in January. The offending scene, according to a report from Deadline Nacogdoches, is one that features a very awkward hotel room scene between Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, who play a couple on the verge of watching their marriage erode away. The scene shows a last-ditch attempt for the formerly happy couple to save their relationship, delivering several moments that comprise the heart of the gut-wrenching tale. Cutting it in any way would be criminal. But the MPAA wants director Derek Cianfrance and The Weinstein Company (who acquired the flick at Sundance) to cut it down, it seems.

Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen. In the mean time, the first trailer for the film’s fall theatrical release can be seen right after the jump.

Trailer:

This comes interestingly timed with the news about the MPAA ruling. Perhaps Harvey Weinstein is pulling strings hard to get the word out on this flick — he’s not above it. As well he should be, as its unquestionably one of the finest films of the year. It’s a deeply affecting, intimate portrait of a relationship on the verge of implosion. For more on that part of the equation, read my Sundance review. Blue Valentine will be playing later this month at the Austin Film Festival, moving into limited release on December 31, 2010.


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