Why is Blonde rated NC-17 on Netflix?

Cameron Frew
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde on Netflix

Blonde, the Marilyn Monroe movie starring Ana de Armas, has arrived on Netflix today – but why is it rated NC-17? Here’s your answer – with no spoilers.

Blonde, directed by Andrew Dominik, stars De Armas as the iconic Hollywood star. It’s important to remember this: while it may feature recognizable moments from her life, it is not a biopic, as it’s based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel.

The official synopsis for the film reads: “Blonde 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.”

Before checking out the film, you may have noticed something striking: Blonde is rated NC-17 on Netflix – but why?

Why Blonde is rated NC-17 on Netflix

Blonde has been rated NC-17 on Netflix for “some sexual content.”

In the UK, the BBFC gave Blonde an 18 rating for “sexual violence, strong sex, domestic abuse.”

While we won’t go into the details of the “sexual content”, many early reviews of Blonde noted its brutal scenes involving De Armas’ Monroe, including two rape scenes and graphic abortion sequences.

In an interview with Empire Magazine, De Armas spoke about how Dominik didn’t “compromise” on his vision, “not once.”

“It’s a film that is supposed to create controversy and discomfort. It’s supposed to make you think about what happened – and what is still happening. It’s revolutionary, and I think it’s so brave.

“It always came from great respect [for] and understanding of that trauma. Despite the NC-17 rating, I never felt that there was anything exploitative. This movie is meant to be an experience, to move along with her feelings, what she’s going through. And that, unfortunately, takes what it takes.

“Whether we were shooting an abortion scene, dealing with abuse, nudity, happy sex, unhappy sex, it is so important to show the reality of it.”

Blonde is available to stream on Netflix now.