Banned in Idaho? Nope. NC-17 movie ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ opens Friday in Boise

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After the media drama, hand wringing and claims that it wouldn’t open in Idaho anytime soon, NC-17 movie “Blue is the Warmest Color” will begin a run at Edwards 9 Cinemas in Downtown Boise on Friday.

Sorry, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. No news here after all. The movie — a French “lesbian coming-of-age drama” — is the sort of art-house film that normally would be shown at The Flicks. But theater owner Carole Skinner does not book films rated NC-17. Why? Because she sells alcohol at her multiplex. Idaho statute prohibits businesses that serve alcohol from showing films with sexually related material or pretty much any view of human naughty bits. By choosing to sell alcohol, The Flicks also chooses to ignore certain movies, no matter how good they are. Same for the new Village Cinema. (What? No “Blue is the Warmest Color” with vibrating D-Box seats?)

It’s a ridiculous, outdated statute. But Idaho theaters aren’t required to sell alcohol. Edwards 9 Cinemas, for example, is not handcuffed by the restriction. After The Flicks steered clear of NC-17 movie “Shame” a couple of years ago, Edwards 9 snagged it instead.

In other words, this so-called “banned in Boise” situation for “Blue is the Warmest Color” was nothing new. But media jumped on the NC-17 story again. And again. And again. Geez, really? Variety and The Hollywood Reporter? Ain’t it great to make national news, Idaho?

Let’s hope this film is worth all the hype. Lesbians disagree on it — the sex part, at least.

Michael Deeds is the Idaho Statesman’s entertainment columnist and Scene magazine editor. His column runs Fridays and Sundays. He appears on the 6 p.m. broadcast of "Today's 6 News" on Thursdays and hosts a music show, "The Other Studio," from 9-10 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.

Posted in Words & Deeds