Blonde ★★

Pretty frustrating. I’m a big fan of Oates’s 700+ page ode to the archetype (one of my favorite books). But whereas that book was more often about The Blonde than “Marilyn,” the film adaptation is not. This seems more like a general summation of the nightmarish fictional version of an actor’s life. We are not watching an archetype, we are watching a mostly one note, and therefore very unconvincing mimicry of Marilyn, or Norma Jeane, or whatever. Ana does a great job but the film really limits her achievement. Overtime, you just become apathetic to watching her cry.

The script, even with its enormous length, still isn’t long enough to really tackle the subject matter, at least not with this structure. And even then, if this film was ten hours long, it would still be too corny and too on the nose. The cinematography is technically impressive, but when you’re so dedicated to recreating old photos, you also sacrifice a lot of ability to visually communicate the emotion of the scene. It’s a cool experiment, but not one that works.

If there’s one thing to get out of this movie, it’s Warren Ellis’s singing, which, uh… is right here.

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