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There’s been a lot of hype around the NC-17 rating given to “Blonde,” the upcoming Marilyn Monroe drama that’s making Ana de Armas a Hollywood icon.
The film’s director, Andrew Dominik, defended the rating, arguing that “the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story” is what viewers want, although that doesn’t mean he always expected the NC-17 restrictive. Dominik told Vulture that he thought he was playing in the R-rated sandbox when he was shooting the movie.
“I was surprised. Yeah. I thought we colored inside the lines,” Dominik said of the film’s NC-17 rating. “But I think if you have a group of men and women in a conference room talking about sexual behavior, maybe the men are going to worry about what the women think. It’s just a period weird. It’s not like depictions of happy sexuality. It’s descriptions of ambiguous situations. And Americans are really weird when it comes to sexual behavior, don’t you think? I don’t know why. They do more porn than anyone else in the world.
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The NC-17 rating has reportedly created tension between Dominik and Netflix, but the filmmaker told ScreenDaily in February that he has “nothing but gratitude for Netflix”, noting that the streaming giant backs the title even if it had some issues with its content. Netflix “insisted” on bringing in “Hereditary” and “Tenet” editor Jennifer Lame to “curb the film’s excesses.” Dominik added that “Blonde is” a demanding film. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. This is not a candidacy for public office.”
“I mean, listen, mate, Netflix is a big company with a lot more fish to fry than ‘Blonde,’ in terms of where they spend their money,” Dominik said when Vulture asked if Netflix worried about the film. “They’re paying $400 million for movies. A little $22 million movie isn’t going to break the bank for Netflix. They just want to get their marketing plan in order, I think, before they start to roll it out. Then we have to figure out how they want it to come into the world. It won’t be out until September. We shouldn’t even talk about it. [Laughs] By the time ‘Blonde’ comes out, everyone will be sick of talking about it.”
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Dominik noted that if “Blonde” had opened several years ago “it would have come out right when #MeToo hit and it would have been an expression of all of that. We’re in a time now, I think, where people are really I don’t know where the lines are. It’s a movie that definitely has a moral about it. But it’s swimming in very ambiguous waters because I don’t think it’s going to be as straightforward as people want see it. There’s something about it to offend everybody.”
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Netflix hasn’t announced a release date for “Blonde,” although the film is likely to appear on the fall festival circuit.