Midsommar, writer-director Ari Aster’s stellar follow-up to Hereditary, is rated R for “disturbing ritualistic violence and grisly images, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use, and language.” You know you’re in for a good time at cinema when “language” is listed last. Anyway, Midsommar is difficult to watch, as is — especially one scene involving a cliff — but the Motion Picture Association of America originally slapped the A24 folk-horror film with the rare NC-17 rating. During a recent Reddit AMA, Aster was asked whether he received any pushback for a character going full frontal in the film. “Yes, we had an NC-17 for 6 weeks,” he replied. “Lots of back-and-forth with [the MPAA].”
Midsommar performed pretty well for an indie horror movie at the box office during its first weekend of release; that wouldn’t have been possible with an NC-17 (known as the “kiss of death”), hence the multi-week battle.
Elsewhere in the AMA, Aster revealed that he’s working on an extended cut of a film that’s already 147 minutes long (“Won’t be 1 hr 20 mins longer, but will be at least 30 mins longer”) and, perhaps jokingly, his next project “will either be a zonky nightmare comedy or a big, sickly domestic melodrama.” Also:
“Can confirm,” says everyone who’s seen Midsommar.