Blonde

Blonde

I cannot deny that Andrew Dominik's infamous Sight and Sound interview, released just a few days ago, tainted my mindset going into Blonde. Knowing that this film was written and directed by a man who clearly doesn't care about Marilyn Monroe as an actress or a human being, openly wonders whether anyone actually still watches her films, and shoves aside questions about aspects of Monroe that don't fit his narrow idea of her by saying "That stuff is not really what the film is about. It’s about a person who is going to be killing themself" mentally prepared me for a film I would dislike, and it is exactly what I got.

Blonde preys on the icon that is Marilyn Monroe, and spends almost three hours to tear her down. If you wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt, you could probably say it tries to stress the hardships in her life, but I'm not inclined to do that (not least because of the Sight and Sound interview), because the way it is shot, it feels cold and complicit in objectifying Marilyn Monroe, rather than empathetic in its portrayal of all the abuse she goes through.

Also, this might be a controversial take but: Ana de Armas is not the saving grace of this film that many people say she is, and I never bought her as Marilyn. Sure, she looks just like her (which is a credit to the makeup department rather than the actress), but the vibe I got from her throughout was ingenue rather than bombshell, so at least for me, she might have got the look down, but not the brand. (Of course, how much of the blame is really on her is hard to tell, considering how little the film gives her an opportunity to slip into the Marilyn superstar mode).

And that scene of Marilyn giving a blowjob to JFK? Sheesh. One of the biggest atrocities to cinema I have ever seen in a "prestige" film.

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