Blue Is The Warmest Color hasn’t had an easy road since it won the top prize at Cannes in May. First Abdellatif Kechiche’s film was ruled ineligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race because of its October 9 opening in France, which is nine days after the deadline for a submitting country. Now the controversial lesbian drama’s US distributor says it will release the film domestically with an adults-only NC-17 rating. Sundance Selects, which isn’t an MPAA member, says it opted not to trim scenes of “explicit sexual content” or release the pic unrated. Warmest Color, starring Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos, will open October 25, shortly after its screening at the New York Film Festival. “This is a landmark film with two of the best female performances we have ever seen on screen,” Sundance Selects/IFC Films President Jonathan Sehring said in a statement. “The film is first and foremost a film about love, coming of age and passion. We refuse to compromise Kechiche’s vision by trimming the film for an R rating. … An NC-17 rating no longer holds the stigma it once did.”
Sundance Selects To Release Palme d’Or Winner ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ With NC-17 Rating In The US
EXCLUSIVE: Another movie has gotten an NC-17. Killer Joe, the Billy Friedkin-directed adaptation of the Tracy Letts play just got an NC-17 rating. That is one of the first releases by LD Entertainment, the new distribution company started by Mickey Liddell and run by David Dinerstein. They will appeal the rating and it’s unusual; Letts is the Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning playwright of August: Osage County.This one is a garish, sexy black comedy that stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gerson and Thomas Haden Church and it’s slated for a summer release.
The pic premiered at Venice and it has been called Tennessee Williams meets Quentin Tarantino. It played Toronto, where it was acquired by LD, and will makes its US premiere at SXSW. It’s racy and violent, but LD thinks it’s an R film. “We will use our best efforts to overturn this decision,” Dinerstein said. “We stand by our filmmakers and remain faithful to their visions.” Stay tuned.
The MPAA has given an NC-17 rating to the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which is exactly what Deadline told you would happen back when we broke the story that Fox Searchlight had acquired it at the start of the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. The rating was dealt for “some explicit sexual content,” which basically means that Michael Fassbender goes Full Monty through much of the film. McQueen expected this rating, and the deal stipulated that the winning distributor would not be permitted to change a frame of a film that everybody knew would be NC-17. Fox Searchlight will wear that rating like a badge, despite the limitations that come with trying to market NC-17. Nobody feels this is a gimmick, and Shame is getting great critical response and gives Fassbender a real shot at an Oscar nomination. This might be the closest thing to Last Tango in Paris or Midnight Cowboy that we’ve seen in quite a long time.
Toronto: ‘Descendants’ Premiere Gets Big Reaction, Searchlight Has No Shame About Pickup Of Controversial ‘Shame’
Fox Seachlight’s annual party at the Thompson Hotel for the Toronto International Film Festival seemed especially ebullient Saturday after its growing Oscar contender, The Descendants, premiered to a standing ovation. Exactly a week earlier, the film received a similar enthusiastic response in Telluride. On top of that, Searchlight’s co-presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula had just won rights over The Weinstein Company and Sony Pictures Classics to the controversial Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which missed out Saturday on the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival but did nab star Michael Fassbender the Best Actor prize for his raw, let-it-all-hang-out performance as a sexually addicted man in freefall.
Utley confirmed that Searchlight will release Shame this year in time for the Oscar race, possibly December. Although they have not dated it, they do want enough time to put a campaign together. She was thrilled that Fassbender got the Venice prize for the film, which premieres in Toronto tomorrow night, after