There’s undeniably a lot to like here; looks and sounds amazing (probably the best score of the year so far), the editing is frequently inventive, and there’s a couple sequences that abandon reality all together and plunge into pure surrealist nightmare territory that are among the most viscerally disturbing things I’ve seen in any movie all year.

And yet, as much as this draws more comparisons to stuff like Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me or Perfect Blue than it does your average biopic, it lacks the sense of humanity and empathy that makes those films work. This feels less like a coherent, mournful depiction of Marilyn Monroe than it does a redundant, empty misery fest that fails to make Ana de Armas’ version of her feel like a real person, and as much as I would like to shut out all the obnoxious noise and *discourse* surrounding this thing and judge it for what it is, some of Dominik’s comments in an interview where he makes a complete ass of himself ( for the interested) make it very difficult to give it a more charitable reading. A psychological drama/horror film with seemingly no interest in the actual psychology or feelings of it’s subject.

Undoubtedly the most disappointing film of the year for me. I love Dominik’s other work and the pitch of a biopic with a twisted, psychological horror approach sounded like exactly my shit, but this is some empty, wrongheaded nonsense. Nick Cave innocent.

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