The controversial Palm d'Or winning French romantic drama Blue Is The Warmest Color opened in select cities this weekend—and even though it's rated NC-17, IFC Center vowed to let high schoolers in to see the film. "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," said John Vanco, senior vice president and general manager of the IFC Center, in a statement.
The film received the strict rating due to its lengthy and graphic sex scenes (scenes which we found undeniably heteronormative, but ones that didn't take away from our love for the film). AO Scott writes that the rating is "a recommendation, without legal or contractual force," and reveals he let his 14-year-old daughter see the film two times, noting "because of its tone and subject matter, “Blue” is a movie that may be best appreciated by viewers under the NC-17 age cutoff."
Slate makes another strong point in favor of allowing younger people to see the film: "Apart from making an incredible amount of sense, Vanco’s stand on Blue is an unmistakable message that LGBT youth in particular must be allowed to connect with powerful depictions of same-sex love."
It’s emotionally and sexually explicit, as raw as an exposed nerve at times, but Adèle and Emma have public lives as well as private ones, and the film’s great achievement is holding them in balance and observing how they relate to each other. Even the most expensive space adventure isn’t bigger than this.
It's worth adding that in France, the film is rated "12," which is the equivalent of PG-13 here.