October 28, 2016
        Ten Contenders will compete for Best Documentary Short Subject                "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster        

Oscars: On “Shame,” and its NC-17 rating – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Steve McQueen’s frank, demanding “Shame” arrives in theaters on Dec. 2 – at the height of its Oscar campaign – with a dreaded NC-17 rating due to the film’s graphic nudity and cold, unflinching approach to sex. And while one of the film’s stars thinks its ludicrous that “Shame” is held to a different standard than nudity-happy teen sex comedies, the National Association of Theater Owners president John Fithian says he wouldn’t have it any other way.

First, there’s Carey Mulligan, who plays Michael Fassbender’s wayward sister in McQueen’s film and contributes to the NC-17 rating by appearing bottomless in one of the film’s scenes. There’s nothing sexual about her nudity, and Mulligan thinks the rating – which hurts the film’s distribution chances because no one under 17 is allowed to see the film – is unfair.

“You know, so many of the teen movies will have so much sex and so many people walking around in bikinis and bare-breasted, and that all seems to be okay,” she tells HitFix. “And then the minute you show it and it’s not funny, and it’s not sexy, and it’s actually unattractive, then it becomes a problem, which seems so odd.”

But Fithian, speaking to The Wrap following a recent “Shame” screening at AFI Fest, says he applauds McQueen and Fox Searchlight for not editing down what amounts to a masterful vision of sexual addiction, of cravings and destructive behaviors.

“It would have destroyed this film to cut it down to an R rating,” said Fithian. “Too many filmmakers and too many studios do that, and I applaud Steve McQueen and Fox Searchlight for sticking to their guns.

“This is the kind of film that the NC-17 is designed for, and I think we need more bold filmmakers and distributors to make content appropriate for the rating and release it that way.”

Now we need to see if audiences will show up. I hope they do, as “Shame” is one of the year’s finest films. But the NC-17 rating alerts them to what’s in store, because while “Shame” is honest, it’s also uncomfortable, which is a necessary component to McQueen’s vital message.

“Shame” opens in limited release on Dec. 2.

For complete Oscar and film festival coverage, visit our awards alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.

Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

Follow us

Breaking Hollywood News   


Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.