The Wolf of Wall Street has avoided being given an NC-17 rating after director Martin Scorsese agreed to cut several scenes with sex and nudity.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA), which administers the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) rating system, indicated that The Wolf of Wall Street could be given an NC-17 rating due to “abundant, explicit sex,” as well as drug use. Scorsese and Paramount had several discussions with the ratings board regarding what needed to be cut in order to get an R rating. Exactly what was cut from the film wasn’t immediately clear.
The edits also brought The Wolf of Wall Street down to a two hour and 59 minute running time, including credits, making it the longest movie of the 2013 Christmas season. The film was originally scheduled to open November 15, but Paramount was forced to change the date when the first cut clocked in at over three hours. After the cuts, Paramount announced that the film would open on December 25.
The Wolf of Street beats Casino as Martin Scorsese’s longest film by one minute. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, a disgraced Wall Street broker who refuses to cooperate in a securities fraud case. The Wolf of Wall Street also stars Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, and Margot Robbie. The film is based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name.
Charlie Countryman, which stars Evan Rachel Wood and Shia LaBeouf, also recently avoided an NC-17 rating after the MPAA forced director Frederik Bond to clean up a key sex scene, which featured the title character (LaBeouf) performing oral sex on his love interest, Gabi Banyai (Wood). Wood slammed the MPAA for “censor[ing] a womans [sic] sexuality” and said the scene “was altered because someone felt that seeing a man give a woman oral sex made people ‘uncomfortable.'”
In 2010, the Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams romantic drama Blue Valentine was initially given an NC-17 rating due to a similar depiction of cunnilingus. Gosling accused the MPAA of sexism and misogyny, and distributor The Weinstein Company appealed the decision, believing an NC-17 would hurt the film’s box office potential. The Weinstein Company won the appeal, and Blue Valentine was given an R rating.