And yep. I was right. NC-17 was likely because Cindy's having possibly the first real orgasm of her life. And it's not an over the top one. Simply, very intense. And the ratings board will have none of that unless it's played for comedic effect. Also, this might be something I gleaned from This Film Is Not Yet Rated, but I seem to remember some specific number of thrusts you can show in a scene before it's an automatic NC-17. Anywho, it was either that, or the non-graphic but still pretty harrowing abortion scene that got the MPAA's panties ruffled.
Oh, yeah, the film. Fucking BRUTAL, if you've ever been in a relationship that had a natural, slow descent into nothingness. Pretty much their entire time in the Future Room was just knives in the stomach for me, every single minute. But god, executed so damn well. Gosling's channeling some strange, secretly-a-pussy DeNiro here that's just endlessly compelling. Williams earns that Oscar nod. And the two of them just riffing off of each other. This is another one of those movies where every shitty relationship those two had ever been in is just simmering on the surface of every second of the later part of the characters, and the honesty there is just hard to witness. Which, of course, makes it brilliant.