×

New York Theater Will Admit Teens to NC-17 ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’

IFC Center will ignore MPAA's 'voluntary' rating

Those sex scenes in Abdellatif Kechiche’s three-hour long NC-17 lesbian drama “Blue Is the Warmest Color” have been polarizing the talent, and now exhibitors are taking a stance, too. In New York, high schoolers under 17 will be admitted to see the film.

The IFC Center in Greenwich Village — which falls under the same IFC ownership as distributor Sundance Selects — has said it will not turn away teen-aged viewers, the New York Times A.O. Scott reported. Scott also said that his own 14-year old daughter has seen the film twice.

In a statement, John Vanco, senior veep and general manager of the IFC Center, said that “high school age patrons” would be admitted.”

“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,” Vanco said.

The theater added on Thursday: “The MPAA rating is a voluntary guideline that we as a theater are not obligated to enforce. 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 at the IFC Center.”

With roughly 15 minutes devoted to simulated sex between Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, no one has questioned whether the rating was deserved.

The MPAA reserves an NC-17 rating for any film that “most parents would consider patently too adult for their children 17 and under.” Their recommendation to exhibitors is clear: “No children will be admitted.” But the MPAA rating is just a recommendation that doesn’t carry legal or contractual force.

In France, “Blue” has a “12” rating, meaning anyone over that age is permitted to attend. It is the second-least restrictive classification, equivalent to the U.S.’s PG-13. Earlier this month, an arthouse in Idaho garnered attention for vowing not to screen the film due to obscenity laws that affect venues that sell alcohol.

“Blue” has opened well in its first week of release in Gaul; Stateside, IFC is starting out with four screens on Friday.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

  • Notre dame

    Locarno Film Review: 'Notre dame'

    Not to be too cynical about it, but might the recent horrific fire in Paris’ cathedral attract audiences to a film in which the gothic gem plays a major role? It’s likely a wiser marketing strategy than promoting the unrelenting silliness of Valerie Donzelli’s oh-so-kooky comedy “Notre dame,” the writer-director-star’s return to contemporary Paris following [...]

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content