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Blue Valentine [2010] [R] - 8.4.8



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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A man and a woman (Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams) meet, fall in love and marry but their love dwindles and erodes as time passes. A principal problem seems to be lifestyle incompatibility: she's practical and focused on a medical career, while he's a dreamer and happy to do unskilled jobs. Also with John Doman, Mike Vogel, Maryann Plunkett and Ben Shenkman. Directed by Derek Cianfrance. [1:54]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A woman lies on the floor and her husband straddles her, tries to kiss her, she squirms and tries to avoid him, he unbuttons her top revealing her bare breast which he kisses, he asks her if she wants to have another baby, she removes her top (we see her bare breasts, bare abdomen and part of her pubic region), and they are shown thrusting briefly; they stop, the husband asks his wife, "Do you want me to rape you? Do you want me to hit you?" and she replies "Yes," slaps him a couple of times and leaves the room.
 A man and a woman have sex (we see their bare buttocks and his bare back and chest): he thrusts from behind, they moan, he climaxes, she seems upset, leaves the room and we see her washing between her legs (her bare upper thighs are visible). A woman lies on a bed, a man removes her panty hose (we see her bare thighs), he places his head between her legs and performs oral sex; the woman moans and thrusts and climaxes.
 A wife showers (we see her bare breasts and abdomen to the hip), her husband disrobes and joins her (we see his bare back and buttocks), kisses her and moves off-screen and below her waist; she reaches down, we see his head between her legs as he caresses her bare buttocks and she leaves the shower.
 A man and a woman kiss, she lies back on a bed, he straddles her and takes off his shirt (we see his bare back and chest). A man and a woman kiss while in the back of a taxi, the driver tells the man not to touch the woman and they discuss his displeasure with anyone having sex in his taxi. A man and a woman kiss, he suggests that they have sex, and the woman appears uncomfortable and leaves.
 A woman is shown lying on an exam table while a doctor begins an abortion procedure (we see her bare thighs); he describes that she will feel pressure and a bit of pain, and the woman moans and stops the procedure. A woman is shown in a doctor's office and is asked about the first time she had sex and how many partners she has had since.
 A man puts his hand under a woman's skirt as he follows her up a flight of stairs. A husband and his wife dance and embrace each other. A husband and his wife wrestle playfully while on a bed and fall off the edge and onto the floor. A husband tries to hug his wife and she tries to pull away.
 A young girl (she seems to be about 5 years old) is shown bare-chested while changing her clothes. A woman helps an elderly woman undress and we see her bare back. A woman wears a low-cut sleep shirt that reveals cleavage. We see a woman's bare, pregnant belly while she undergoes a sonogram in a doctor's office. A woman is shown wearing a bathrobe (no nudity is evident). A woman wears a man's shirt and we see her bare thighs.
 A husband asks his wife to go away with him so that they can "get drunk and make love." A man asks a woman if she is unfaithful to her husband. A woman tells a man that she is pregnant, that she isn't sure if the baby is his and he asks what she is going to do (whether she will have it or not). A man asks another man, "How do you meet girls?" and they later talk about a woman the man met and is anxious to get to know and whether they believe in love at first sight. A woman asks an elderly woman, "What did it feel like when you fell in love?" A woman tells a joke about a child molester and a little boy. A husband and his wife enter a hotel room and the man describes it as looking like a "robot's vagina" and he describes another room as "cupid's cove."
 A man and his young daughter climb on a bed where his wife is sleeping and the man kisses the woman's neck and arm to wake her.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man punches another man in the stomach, throws him to the ground, straddles him and punches him in the face repeatedly (we see his bloody nose); he then kicks him in the ribs and leaves him on the ground (we see the victim later with a black eye and a swollen and bruised nose).
 A husband and his wife argue bitterly: the man throws things, another woman and another man try to stop him and the husband shoves him and then punches him in the face (we see his bloody nose); the wife then punches and slaps her husband and they leave.
 A woman is shown lying on an exam table while a doctor begins an abortion procedure, he describes that she will feel pressure and a bit of pain, and the woman moans and stops the procedure.
 During a sex scene a husband stops thrusting and asks his wife, "Do you want me to rape you? Do you want me to hit you?" and she replies "Yes," slaps him a couple of times and leaves the room.
 A woman finds her dog dead on the side of a road (presumably hit by a car) and we see the dog lying motionless (no wounds are visible). A man buries a dead dog and we see what we assume is the body under a plastic tarp as he places it in a hole in the ground. A man and a woman grieve over the death of their dog.
 We hear a telephone message left by a man; he's yelling and threatening another man. A husband yells at his wife while at the dinner table, throws his plate of food and leaves the room. A husband and his wife argue about her having seen an ex-boyfriend in a liquor store. A man yells at the driver of a car as it speeds by on a rural road. A wife yells at her husband that she wants a divorce and that she has no feelings for him anymore. A young girl runs after her father and tries to bring him back home, but he does not go with her and she cries. A young girl stands in a field calling for her dog but it does not respond. We hear that an elderly man has died.
 A woman urinates on a toilet and we hear the stream (her bare upper thighs are visible). A woman takes a pregnancy test (we hear urine trickle into a toilet). We see clear gel on a woman's bare belly during a sonogram.
 Two men wrestle in a match (no one appears injured).

PROFANITY 8 - About 33 F-words and its derivative, 1 sexual reference, 9 scatological terms, 9 anatomical terms, 7 mild obscenities, name-calling (insane, coo-coo crazy), 5 religious profanities, 2 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man and a woman drink alcohol throughout an evening in a hotel room, a beer can is shown on a table in front of a man (we do not see him drink), a woman makes a remark about a man drinking before going to work (it is implied that he drinks a lot), a husband asks his wife to go away with him so that they can "get drunk and make love," a man and a woman drink champagne, a man and a woman drink alcohol and smoke a cigarette, and a man smokes a cigarette and drinks alcohol in a couple of scenes. A man smoking a cigarette tells a woman that he cannot join her in her house because her father is using an oxygen tank, a man smokes cigarettes in numerous scenes, we see a man with an unlit cigarette in his mouth in a few scenes, and an elderly woman insists that she wants a cigarette while lying in bed (we do not see her smoke).

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Love, relationships, unplanned pregnancies, pregnancy out of wedlock, abortion, family, divorce, ambition, death, death of a pet, falling in love, falling out of love, sexual rejection, wasted potential.

MESSAGE - Love takes a lot of work to maintain and sometimes it just fades away.

Special Keywords: S8 - V4 - P8 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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