Netflix is set to release its first NC 17 produced movie, Blond. This The NC 17 movie on Netflix is a Marilyn Monroe biopic with Ana de Armas as the titular wife. Usually that would mean box office poison, but in the age of streaming, it’s not quite as bad, but still headline-worthy. One wonders if this was a case of positive/negative publicity for Netflix.
What is an NC 17 rating? CN 17 is the the most restrictive note that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) may highlight. Established in 1990 with Henry and June (more on that later), NC 17 means no one 17 or younger is allowed in the movie.
The MPAA rating has raised eyebrows for Netflix management, and some fans were miffed that director Andrew Dominik deigned to defend the film.
Same energy as "If you don’t like my movie, it’s because you don’t understand it"
—Jamie (@JamJamGaGa) February 11, 2022
Based on the highly fictionalized novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, Blond will likely show some sexual content, though it’s hard to imagine the film being as gratuitous and blood-soaked as shows like game of thrones. Also consider that Netflix didn’t ask the director to remove any content to appeal for a lower rating, as many of the studio’s predecessors asked filmmakers to do.
For edgy movie fans, the rating may be encouraging. Some of the best films of the past 50 years, including Casino and South Park: bigger, longer and uncut originally earned the NC 17 designation. Although critically acclaimed, some films rated NC 17 remain adults-only. A few of these films only make a few cuts which allowed the films to be screened in R-rated theaters. Of course, an NC 17 label is no guarantee of quality, but the following eight films have gained critical reputation for their raw and (almost) unrestricted content despite their original restrictive ratings.
Since the MPAA began giving ratings in 1968, there has been little rhyme or reason to distinguish between what constitutes the difference between R and NC 17. Although arbitrary measurement means less in the age of streaming, major theaters will still not screen NC 17 films, although cultural norms have become much more liberal over the past 50 years. It is understandable to skip some movies because of the content. Movie ratings, however, give little clue as to whether this content is free.