Director Ari Aster’s (Aster) Midsommar was almost given an NC-17 rating from the MPAA, but managed to get away with an R rating of its final cut. With that being said, we’re going to explain why Midsommar was almost rated NC-17.
Speaking to fans about the movie on Reddit (via AMA), Aster said that there was a lot of “back and forth” between him and the MPAA over the rating of the movie. Definitely a more intense R rated movie, Midsommar holds the rating as it currently stands for the following reason:
“An R-rated motion picture contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating seriously.”
It’s fair to suggest that there’s not a lot of room for change, which leads us to question why the movie got an NC-17 rating, and what was changed (cut/edited) to bring the movie’s rating down to an R. According to Aster, the discussion with the MPAA over the movie’s rating lasted for six weeks.
The reason why the movie was given an NC-17 rating is mainly due to the graphic nudity and sexuality in the movie, more specifically the sex scene towards the end of the movie with Christian and the full-front male nudity that is on display.
Christian, played by Jack Reynor, said that he was completely committed to the unity that the scene required, and even was comfortable going further. The above-mentioned scene does put Christian in a vulnerable position in ways which are unheard of for male characters in horror movies.
Even with the changes, the scene was just as effective without any kind of gratuitous exposure and got the point the Aster was trying to make across in a way that allowed the movie to have the “accessibility offered” by an R rating. Even being rated R, the movie was in our opinion shocking and brutal.
Please note UK readers: The movie was given an 18 rating in the UK by the BBFC. So this article is specifically targeting readers in the U.S.
Source: Screen Rant