Did Harvey Weinstein just improve the Oscar chances for 'Blue Valentine'? [video]
Thanks to Harvey Weinstein's very vocal appeal, the Ryan Gosling-Michelle Williams film "Blue Valentine" will receive an R-rating, instead of the NC-17 the Motion Picture Assn. of America first bestowed on the relationship drama. This will greatly improve the film's theatrical prospects, and the added publicity from the rating dustup over a sex scene can only increase the must-see factor.
But does the rating change increase the film's Oscar chances? Unlikely.
The controversy itself may spur more Oscar voters to move the screener to the top of the pile but the movie will still be critqued on its own merit. Said one Oscar insider, "The reason they gave the rating will not change. A certain group of people found it odious and distasteful and those feelings may remain. Whether or not those tastes reflect the tastes of the academy is unclear."
If the rating had remained NC-17, it would not have precluded the academy from nominating the film. Granted, a nomination for such a restricted film hasn't happened since "Midnight Cowboy" earned seven nominations in 1970, but on the whole, the academy is less prudish than the general public.
If the movie, which bows in limited release on Dec. 31, does well at the box office, that could influence academy voters to a degree, but probably not enough to change its Oscar chances one way or another.
-- Nicole Sperling