Return of the NC-17 rating

shame-scene.jpg"Shame," the upcoming film with Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, will be the 11th movie released with an NC-17 rating by a major studio or division, David Poland says. He examines the 21-year legacy of the rating at Movie City News. Excerpt:

I believe the NC-17 was a cynical attempt by the studios, aka the MPAA, to stop the conversation about the lack of a legitimate “adult” rating and to bury the artistic impulse to make films with that kind of content in them once and for all, at least at a studio level....

The only film to gross more than $12 million domestically with an NC-17 is "Showgirls," at just over $20m....I would love for "Shame" to be the highest grossing NC-17 film ever. That is the high bar for Fox Searchlight to achieve here. That would open the door for other NC-17 films. But it’s a very tough film. So it won’t be easy.

What’s most interesting to me about Searchlight’s choice to buy this film is that they went there once before, disappointingly. The film, "The Dreamers," offered up a very often naked Eva Green. Magnificent to look at… but not much of a movie. This time, they have a real movie. This is awards-level material. And the nudity and sex, while sometimes sexy, is not prurient.

Momentum Pictures calls the film "a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us." Carey Mulligan talks with Poland about incest, nudity and "Shame" in this MCN video.

Photo: Publicity still from "Shame"

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