In his New York Times piece about a theater publicizing that it will ignore the NC-17 rating of the controversial, sex-heavy Blue is the Warmest Color, author A.O. Scott proudly notes that he has allowed his 14-year-old daughter to see the film twice--and encourages others under the age limit to see it too.
Scott begins the piece by making clear the film deserves the NC-17 rating:
This is not a movie that could easily be trimmed to an R, or a case of oversensitivity on the part of the Motion Picture Association of America, whose ratings board issues the classifications.
Regardless, Scott not only encouraged his 14-year-old daughter to see it, twice, he pushes for others under the age limit to see it as well:
In my capacity as a critic, I will weigh in on the artistic merits of Mr. Kechiche’s film in Friday’s paper. But I am also the parent of two mature, inquiring teenagers, one of whom, my 14-year-old daughter, has seen it twice, at the Telluride Film Festival. My permissiveness has raised some eyebrows among friends and colleagues, and I am not necessarily holding myself up as a role model. You have your own rules, and your own reasons for enforcing them, and naked bodies writhing in ecstasy may not be something you want your kids to see. But in some ways, because of its tone and subject matter, “Blue” is a movie that may be best appreciated by viewers under the NC-17 age cutoff.
Scott’s review of the film makes no bones about Blue's graphic sexual nature:
One sequence in particular is longer and more literal than anything you are likely to encounter outside of pornography. Ms. Maroh (among others) objected that Mr. Kechiche’s rendering of her work was indeed pornographic, reflecting a prurient male fantasy rather than the truth of lesbian sex. ...
The sex is essential to that intention, even though Mr. Kechiche’s way of filming does not quite succeed in fulfilling it. Trying to push the boundaries of empathy, to communicate physical rapture by visual means, he bumps into the limits of the medium and lapses into voyeurism, turning erotic sensation into a spectacle of flesh.
After fully acknowledging the graphic nature of what Scott calls a “pornographic,” voyeuristic, “spectacle of the flesh,” Indiewire’s Sam Adams comes to Scott’s defense, declaring that he hopes his own 4-year-old daughter will be “mature enough” to watch a film like Blue when she’s 14 too:
Though not a YA expert, I'm not sure that Blue's passionate pubis-on-pubis grinding is "really no racier" than say, the Hunger Games trilogy, in which Katniss never goes further than extremely dreamy kiss.
As the father of a 4-year-old girl, my mind recoils from the idea that my baby will ever be old enough for such stuff, but if she's mature enough to see the likes of Blue a decade hence, it would mean I've done my job as a parent.