Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is one of the most heartbreaking films ever made thanks to the endless sympathy David Lynch has for Laura Palmer. You feel every last drop of Laura’s pain as she struggles to survive in a heartless town that doesn’t care to see her alive. She fights and tries to live, and isn’t a passive figure. The film does everything in its power to make you feel for her, because Lynch’s heart breaks for Laura as well. 

Blonde has no such sympathy nor interest in Marilyn Monroe. Instead, per the director’s words, it presents itself as a biopic based upon a fictional novel about a real person’s life; the same kind of utterly broken, unexplainable bullshit that saw Lightyear crash and burn mere months ago. It’s a laughably terrible concept that crystallizes as a godawful dreck, pointless and staid. Andrew Dominik’s clear hatred of Marilyn sinks any potential for greatness, instead relying on cheap shock value that ironically fails to provoke in the slightest (even the talking fetus has been done in one form or another by much more talented directors). He throws one mildly interesting camera angle or shot after the other, but by less than an hour into the runtime, it’s all trite and dull, serving nothing. It’s a hopeless parody of American arthouse cinema with nothing to say. 

De Armas, meanwhile…just sucks. She’s not helped by the abysmal screenplay or the indifferent direction, but she has no real character to speak of. She’s not Norma, she’s not Marilyn, she’s just a mannequin who cries and begs for “Daddy” every five seconds. She has no internal life, and any moment when she begins to show vitality is crushed by Dominik to focus more on his shallow, worn out ideas about fame destroying souls. Whether the decision to make her not look or sound exactly like Marilyn was intentional or not, it’s a huge miscasting that completely annihilates any chances of this working. Between her, Dominik, and the script, there is not a single good scene in this movie. There is NOTHING here worth discussing or even thought provoking. 

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me this is not, unless you have a fundamental misunderstanding of David Lynch. Blonde is the kind of artistic misfire that kills careers, and it looks like it’s already doing that.

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