- Deadline Hollywood: Mike Fleming details Harvey Weinstein’s game-plan for awards hopeful “Blue Valentine” in the aftermath of the MPAA’s decision to rate it NC-17 (including hiring super-attorney David Boies, who represented Al Gore before the U.S. Supreme Court in Gore v. Bush, to represent his claim before the MPAA) and passes along a statement about the matter that Weinstein issued yesterday: “We respect the work of the MPAA and we hope, after having a chance to sit down with them, they will see that our appeal is reasonable, and the film, which is an honest and personal portrait of a relationship, would be significantly harmed by such a rating.”
- Movie Line: S.T. VanAirsdale looks back at the history of the NC-17 rating, which was first awarded 20 years ago to Phil Kaufman’s “Henry and June” (1990). Among the other films that have received the dreaded “black spot”: David Cronenberg’s “Crash” (1996), Todd Solondz’s “Happiness” (1998), Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), and Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” (2007).
- Awards Daily: Ryan Adams notes that “Hereafter,” the latest awards hopeful directed by Clint Eastwood, has received ringing endorsements from both the Los Angeles Times (which gives it 5-stars and calls Eastwood “a singular filmmaker”) and the New York Times (“It’s wonderful”) that will go a long way towards counteracting the less than stellar response that the film received at Venice last month.
- Los Angeles Times: Amy Kaufman profiles “Hereafter” star Cecile de France, who “is virtually unknown to American audiences but has won two Cesar awards, France’s version of an Oscar.” Director Clint Eastwood cast her in his spiritual drama after watching a fimed audition, and came to feel such confidence in her that “he allowed her to translate her lines in the script from English to French so that she could ‘sell her product as she would in real life.’”
- Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells rejects Stu Van Airsdale’s prediction that Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” will snag the tenth slot in this year’s best picture race, writing, “Enough with putting [it] on these lists because Perry is the only African-American director in the pack… Perry is too mediocre a filmmaker for anyone to even imagine that he might get lucky with [it]… People need to stop dreaming.”
- In Contention: Kris Tapley cheers Jim Carrey’s turn as a closeted homosexual with a wife and kids-turned-openly homosexual con man in Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s long-delayed “I Love You Phillip Morris,” which Tapley regards as the actor’s “finest performance to date.” Carrey has “never felt so organic and believable as a character,” Tapley adds, “and he legitimately deserves to be a part of this year’s awards discussion.”
- Moviefone: Erik Childress suggests that Annette Bening would have a much better chance of winning an Oscar this year if Focus Features pushed her performance in “The Kids Are All Right” in the best supporting actress category rather than in the best actress category, which might force her to compete against her co-star Julianne Moore.
- Vanity Fair: Adrienne Gaffney catches up with Hilary Swank, who says that she delayed meeting Betty Anne Waters, the woman whom she portrays in “Conviction,” because, “I didn’t want to be mimicking somebody.” Instead, she worked hard to develop “a great understanding of her drive and her determination and tenacity and all of the things that make her the graceful person that she is.”
- The Wrap: Daniel Frankel acknowledges that all of Hollywood has moved toward franchises rather than original material, but makes the case that 20th Century Fox — the studio now distributing “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” — “stands out as a place where sequels, remakes and reboots dominate the production calendar.” He adds, “With seven of the Fox’s next 15 films through 2011 either sequels or adaptations of well-known titles like the December release ‘Gulliver’s Travels,’ the studio has established itself in the creative community as among the most risk-averse of the majors.”
Photo: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine.” Credit: The Weinstein Company.