The critically-acclaimed French film “Blue Is the Warmest Color” is a three-hour festival of lesbian sex so bursting with intense love scenes that it has been slapped with the rare NC-17 rating (“No Children Under 17 Admitted”).
The movie will open on Friday in a handful of theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. At the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, management has announced that it will permit horny “inquiring” high school-aged students to see the film as long as they can afford a ticket.
“This is not a movie for young children, but it is our judgment that it is not inappropriate for mature, inquiring teenagers who are looking ahead to the emotional challenges and opportunities that adulthood holds,” IFC Center general manager John Vanco said in a statement, according to The New York Times.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) assigns the NC-17 rating for movies that “most parents would consider patently too adult for their children 17 and under.” Flatly, then, “no children will be admitted.”
The MPAA rating system isn’t a law, though.
“The MPAA rating is a voluntary guideline that we as a theater are not obligated to enforce,” the IFC Center said in a later statement obtained by Variety. “In this case we feel it is unnecessarily restrictive and we will indeed admit high school age patrons to screenings of this perceptive and moving film.”
“Blue Is the Warmest Color” involves a 15-year-old high school student who has a randy romance with a slightly older, blue-haired art student. About one-twelfth of the total running time consists of impressively graphic romping between the two main characters, played by Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux.
As Variety explains, Seydoux and director Abdellatif Kechiche are now in a very convenient and very French feud.
She has called him a “sadistic and perverse manipulator who forced two young actresses to perform non-stop nude sex scenes for 10 days,” “psychologically humiliating and raping them to achieve what is seen on screen.”
He has called her a “spoiled child” who is engaging in “manipulation of the worst kind.”
A.O. Scott, a film critic for The New York Times, boasted that his 14-year-old daughter had already seen the fleshy flick — twice — at the Telluride Film Festival.
“I am not necessarily holding myself up as a role model,” Scott explained. “You have your own rules, and your own reasons for enforcing them, and naked bodies writhing in ecstasy may not be something you want your kids to see. But in some ways, because of its tone and subject matter, ‘Blue’ is a movie that may be best appreciated by viewers under the NC-17 age cutoff.”