After Wanting an NC-17 Marilyn Monroe Film, BLONDE Director Andrew Dominik Is Surprised It Was Rated NC-17

A few months ago we learned that Ana de Armas’ Marylin Monroe film, Blonde, would be rated NC-17. The movie comes from director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Killing Them Softly), and when he partnered up with Netflix for the film, one of the non-negotiable aspects of them picking doing it was that it would have to be NC-17. The filmmaker said at the time:

“It’s a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office… It’s an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe, it’s kind of what you want, right? I want to go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story.”

Now, in a recent interview with Vulture, the director seems confused as to why the film was actually rated NC-17. He says he was surprised by the rating even though that’s the kind of film that he set out to make. This is what he recently said:

“I was surprised. Yeah. I thought we’d colored inside the lines. 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.”

So, did he want it to be NC-17 or did he not? I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something here, but now I’m confused! Dominik went on to say that Blonde is meant to be challenging and ambiguous, and he likes that it might offend people:

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“…[I]t would have come out right when MeToo hit, and it would have been an expression of all that stuff. We’re in a time now, I think, where people are really uncertain about where any lines are. It’s a film that definitely has a morality about it. But it swims in very ambiguous waters because I don’t think it will be as cut-and-dried as people want to see it. There’s something in it to offend everyone.”

When previously talking about Ana de Armas’ performance, he said she “is fucking amazing — the one thing nobody’s going to complain about is [de Armas’] performance.” Dominik goes on to talk about the film telling a ‘rescue me’ story:

“Well, you know, Marilyn’s whole vibe was ‘rescue me.’ Some great feminist writers have said this: Everything that’s been written about Marilyn Monroe, whether it’s by Norman Mailer or Gloria Steinem, is a rescue fantasy. It’s all from the point of view of: ‘If I’d been there, I’d have understood her. If I’d been there, she would’ve been fine.’ ‘Blonde’ the movie is no different, you know?”

Blonde will be released on Netflix later this year. It also stars Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Caspar Phillipson, Julianne Nicholson, Sara Paxton, Tony Curtis, and Xavier Samuel.