Staring Down The Ratings Board

Bernardo Bertolucci’s new film, The Dreamers, premiered at Sundance this week, sporting an eye-catching NC-17 rating. It’s the first film in years to carry the adults-only rating, normally considered a death sentence by studios, and Bertolucci is eager to take on the MPAA for the criteria it uses to assign ratings to films released in the U.S. No movie has ever been rated NC-17 for violent content, no matter how gory, but certain sexual content makes the rating automatic. Bertolucci’s view: “an orgasm is better than a bomb.”