Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde” is about to make its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which means moviegoers will finally get to find out why the Marilyn Monroe drama is rated NC-17. The rating has generated significant buzz for the movie, which casts Ana de Armas as the Hollywood icon and is based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name. De Armas recently told L’Officiel (via Uproxx) that she is baffled by the film’s NC-17 rating .
“I didn’t understand why that happened,” de Armas said of the movie being rated NC-17. “I can tell you a number of shows or movies that are way more explicit with a lot more sexual content than ‘Blonde.’ But to tell this story it is important to show all these moments in Marilyn’s life that made her end up the way that she did. It needed to be explained. Everyone [in the cast] knew we had to go to uncomfortable places. I wasn’t the only one.”
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Dominik has also expressed surprise over the film’s controversial rating. Dominik told Vulture in May that he thought he was playing in the R-rated sandbox when he was making the film.
“I was surprised. Yeah. I thought we’d colored inside the lines,” Dominik said. “But I think if you’ve got a bunch of men and women in a boardroom talking about sexual behavior, maybe the men are going to be worried about what the women think. It’s just a weird time. It’s not like depictions of happy sexuality. It’s depictions of situations that are ambiguous. And Americans are really strange when it comes to sexual behavior, don’t you think? I don’t know why. They make more porn than anyone else in the world.”
The NC-17 rating reportedly created tension between Dominik and Netflix, but the filmmaker told ScreenDaily in February that he has “nothing but gratitude for Netflix,” noting the streaming giant supported 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 excesses of the movie.” Dominik added that “Blonde is “a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office.”
The official “Blonde” synopsis from Netflix reads: “[The film] boldly reimagines the life of one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons, Marilyn Monroe. From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, ‘Blonde’ blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.”
Following its world premiere in Venice, “Blonde” will stream on Netflix beginning Sept. 28.
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