Blonde ★★½

Did not find this movie anywhere near interesting enough to fall on either side of the controversy it’s stirred up. I could certainly understand thinking it’s either the greatest or worst movie ever made cause there’s a lot to love and definitely hate here, but it just didn’t really elicit that strong a reaction from me. Formally, Dominik makes some inspired choices, and De Armas is genuinely, astonishingly great. At the very least hope she gets some recognition and accolades for this performance as it’s pretty undeniable. And yet, with all the awful things we experience along with her portrayal of Marilyn there’s a distinct lack of empathy radiating from Dominik here. Almost like this character is just a plaything or stand-in for him to explore any actress sucked up by the exploitative Hollywood machine and while that’s more than fine it gives little life to a real life figure this vessel he creates is supposed to represent. He covers it up with some striking images and a few admittedly visceral and even scary sequences but this still ends up falling into the trap of just crossing off major checkpoints and not even scratching the surface of who it’s subject was. Also as for that score, I too am a fan of the music of Angelo Badalamenti.

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