I know there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this film/its NC-17 rating – I’ve read the headlines, but I haven’t really read any of the articles/commentary on it, so I apologize in advance if this is beating a dead horse.
Also, this post will probably be, at the very least, R-rated, if not NC-17, as the MPAA might say. ;)
I thought this movie was fantastic. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams gave amazingly emotionally-raw and realistic performances. If you saw 500 Days of Summer last year and thought it was a little too “cutesy,” I would definitely recommend this movie. (I still prefer 500 Days over this, but I enjoy the “cutesy” aspects of it more than some people.)
The film as a whole can be described as emotionally raw – there are overwhelmingly beautiful moments that capture two people falling in love/in love, and there are overwhelmingly dark and awkward moments that capture the obstacles real life can throw at people. If you are looking for escapism in a movie, I would definitely avoid this one.
This movie is quite possibly the best 2010 release I’ve seen (so far), ranking up with Inception and It’s Kind of a Funny Story (for me, anyway), which makes me so upset that it got a NC-17 rating from the MPAA. For those who don’t know, films that get slapped with that rating usually get extremely limited theatrical distribution and can be hard to track down when released on Blu-Ray/DVD.
Since my high school days, I have pretty much thought the dividing line between the R and NC-17 ratings has been flimsy at best, and this proves it.
If the NC-17 rating is going to continue, I think it needs to incorporate some of the violence that has been allowed to pass with a R rating and not be as harsh on some of the sexual content that seems to automatically get a NC-17. Sure, serial killers/demented people exist in real life, but I’d be willing to bet that statistically, a larger number of people have experienced oral sex (or whatever consensual sexual contact the MPAA thinks is NC-17) when compared to the number of people tormented by serial killers or situations similar to the graphically violent films that pass through the MPAA with R ratings. Showing a person something that occurs in everyday life in a film shouldn’t merit a NC-17 rating while films that showcase brutal torture scenes can get R-ratings.