Sundance Film Festival follow up: BLUE VALENTINE

The much anticipated release of BLUE VALENTINE was an instant audience favorite at its festival premiere last January, earning director Derek Cianfrance a Grand Jury nomination. Cianfrance began making movies when he was thirteen, but this is his first feature-length narrative film. It’s already been nominated for two Golden Globes and an Independent Spirit Award, and Oscar season is only getting started. It received a bounty of prerelease buzz for an incredible soundtrack by Grizzly Bear and for its stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, the dedicated duo who lived together for a month while shooting, cooking, cleaning and budgeting their expenses on the combined salaries of a nurse and a painter. The fact that it received an NC-17 rating for “a scene of explicit sexual content” didn’t hurt in drumming up some press either. As an NC-17 rating limits a film’s release (lots of theaters just won’t screen anything above R), the Weinstein Company fiercely appealed the rating, which was subsequently reduced to an R for “strong graphic sexual content, language and a beating.” The MPAA sure is specific, and considering that out of the 900 movies reviewed by the Classification and Rating Appeals Board every year less than a dozen are actually appealed, BLUE VALENTINE’s R status is kind of a big deal. Plus, it means it’s guaranteed to be playing in a theatre near you.

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.