Curious teens sure have it easy these days. Count sneaking into sexy French films as something of the distant, buttoned-up past.

Blue is the Warmest Color, which opens in select theaters today, garnered an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America for its graphic sex scenes. Usually this rating bans anyone under the age of 17 from viewing the film, but one New York theater, the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, is ignoring the rating and allowing high-schoolers to watch. The New York Times first reported the news.

“This is not a movie for young children, but it is our judgment that it is appropriate for mature, inquiring teenagers who are looking ahead to the emotional challenges and opportunities that adulthood holds,” said John Vanco, senior vice president and general manager of the IFC Center, in an official statement.

“The MPAA rating is a voluntary guideline that we as a theater are not obligated to enforce. In this case we feel it is unnecessarily restrictive and we will indeed admit high school age patrons to screenings of this perceptive and moving film at the IFC Center,” added Vanco.

Blue is the Warmest Color, about a young girl who falls in love with a female art student, generated intense controversy after it’s Cannes Film Festival premiere. There was spirited debate over its sexually explicit scenes, in addition to the public feuding between its stars, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, and director Abdellatif Kechiche.

Blue Is The Warmest Color
  • Movie
  • 179 minutes