Blonde ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Unfortunately, I really liked this. Totally get why people hate this, but I found it to be completely captivating, despite some of its more pretentious and faux-intellectual moments. The third act in particular, when the movie becomes an almost surrealist horror film, is some of the best stuff I've seen in a movie this year. I was also surprised that, at least in my view, this wasn't the misery porn I was lead to believe. The movie is bleak and tough to watch, for sure, but I found it to be really empathetic towards Marilyn Monroe's life and struggles, something I don't think the movie's detractors (or Andrew Dominik himself) have given it enough credit for. And Ana de Armas, very shaky accent work aside, is really great here. It's such a tragic and difficult role, and she nails it.

As much as I did like this, there were a couple things that didn't work for me. First, even though I don't think it was Dominik's intention, the fetus scenes have some really mixed messaging, and give off a weirdly pro-life vibe. Also, the fact that Marilyn spends the second half of the movie calling all of her partners "Daddy" was very strange. I get it thematically, but I don't really think it was effective at all.

Anyway, don't really want to comment on the discourse surrounding this movie, but I will say that I hope people will engage with the film on its own merits, and not with whatever preconceived notions (both good and bad) theh may have about it. Definitely a challenging film, but nonetheless one I think is worth watching, although I totally get why someone wouldn't.

Also, even though they make sense, I don't think the Fire Walk with Me comparisons are doing this movie any favors. As good as I thought this was, Lynch does pretty much everything this movie sets out to do far better with his film. But as far as movies that are described "Lynchian" this is one of the few that actually fits the bill.

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