There's a way that this movie could have worked. There are ideas regarding how women are exploited within the film industry and thus robbed of their agency. I think telling that story with Marilyn Monroe could have been profound. And within the movie we got, there are glimpses of that potentially great movie.

The problem is that Blonde is written and directed by a filmmaker who does not trust his audience. Andrew Dominik insists on beating you over the head with a sledgehammer to make sure that you know his revolutionary assessment that Marilyn Monroe is a fictional creation. That she desires to fill the void left by her absent father. That she was never seen or loved by anyone but rather exploited by everyone.

Before I go any further, I must insist that none of my issues with this film have anything to do with Ana de Armas. She pours her soul into her performance, doing everything in her power to find the nuance that this role deserves. She deserved a script and direction that allowed her the opportunity to realize her full potential. This could have been a Best Actress worthy performance had she not been forced to act out dialogue with the level of complexity as a middle school production.

Blonde is not a terrible movie because of its graphic content. Truthfully based off of the discussions I had read leading up to the film, I was expecting far worse. Most of its troubling content occurs in the second half of the film with most early moments being suggestive. And its most disturbing scene in the third act is truly appalling and adds nothing of value to the movie. Blonde is a failure because it ignores the rule of "show, don't tell" to egregious degrees. A 2-hour film that relied more on visual and emotional storytelling, that truly had empathy for Norma Jeane in exploring her tragic life honestly and tastefully could have truly been exceptional. Dominik's film indulges in this concept of exploitation with a lack of self-awareness, pummeling the viewer into submission despite not having much to say about Marilyn Monroe and oftentimes confusing himself with what he's trying to say.

I have read a lot of interesting perspectives, both positive and negative about this film. The conversation around it has been heated, understandably so. But if I'm being honest, all of those discussions are far more compelling than the film itself. It promises to spark controversy and debate with a plethora of topics surrounding its subject and yet my biggest takeaway was that I hope this is the last time I ever see a CGI talking fetus in a movie.

Block or Report

Ezra liked these reviews