libertine.jpgThe day after Thanksgiving, the still-newish Weinstein Company will unveil its second release ... sort of. The Libertine, directed by Laurence Dunmore and starring Johnny Depp as the legendary poet/drunk the 2nd Earl of Rochester, will open upon a handful of screens in New York and LA, without a rating. And a week later, it'll be gone – at least, if all goes according to plan. Weinstein originally planned to release the film as part of its early-fall Miramax shelf dump – remember, the one that worked so well for Proof and all those other long-delayed Oscar hopefuls? – but they've now decided instead to release the picture for a one week awards qualifying run, and then regroup and reevaluate after nominations season.

I saw the picture this morning, and I think they're doing the right thing; Johnny Depp notwithstanding, this thing is going to be nearly impossible to market. The Weinstein Company are not yet affiliated with the MPAA; as such, when the ratings board offered them an NC-17 on the film, they politely declined. Depp is fabulous as the incorrigible Earl, and overall, the film is definitely worth seeing. But it's literally bursting with filth, to the point where it's almost like The Aristocrats remade as a narrative period piece. To say it won't play in Peoria is an understatement – the only way it'll play anywhere is if it's got a legitimate awards push behind it.