What is Witty Watching?

Blonde – Movie Review
September 30, 2022

Synopsis: A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.
Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Ana de Armas, Lily Fisher, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale

The first time I saw Ana de Armas on screen it was in the film Knock Knock. The film wasn’t critically acclaimed but I liked it. She was the breakout star of that film, which was one of her first major English-speaking roles. She went on to have a lot of supporting parts in films such as Knives Out, Blade Runner 2049 and was one of the best things in No Time to Die. In fact, the general criticism of the last James Bond film was there wasn’t enough screen time for de Armas.

She has quietly been developing her acting resume with lead parts in films like Sergio and Deep Water and while I’m not sure if she’s a household name, she should be as she’s a very strong actress.

Her latest venture to the screen is Blonde, a fictionalized account of the life of Marilyn Monroe. This is the time of year where we see a lot of films based on actual people as we start our slow march to awards season and as such a movie about the iconic Monroe seems perfectly timed for the fall.

The film, directed by Andrew Dominic, starts with Norma Jeanne (Monroe) as a child and we see that her mother is in no position to take care of this little girl. We then have a big time jump to her as an adult where Amras debuts in the film. I felt more could have been explored from her childhood but that’s a minor comment.

The film then takes us on a bizarre odyssey. We see how she was treated by execs and the people in her life. To say she has had some rough experiences is an understatement. We also see the director wants to stretch out every scene. An extremely long closeup on her feet in a bed, A prolonged scene as she is trying to find her wallet throughout her home, etc. The reason this film is long and stretched out is because the director made it long and stretched it out. Dominik went for quantity over quality.

This film is playing in theatres and on Netflix. Go for the Netflix option. You can pause and move around and get the circulation back.

Now there are some parts of the film that are hard to watch, not the nudity. If you are familiar with de Armas’ work you know that nude scenes aren’t foreign to her. It is more so how she was treated in the film by people in her world and how that impacted her.

If you are a big fan of Monroe, I don’t know that this film enhances her legacy. That may not be the point of the film though. I actually don’t know what the point was.

For her credit, Ana de Armas delivers a tour de force performance. Her acting is not in question here. She takes the material, makes it her own and solidifies herself as one of the great actors working today. Considering Knock Knock was seven years ago her ability to dive into this role and give us an authentic version of Marilyn Monroe needs to be commended.

What doesn’t need to be commended is that Andrew Dominik made a bizarre film that serves as nothing more than sucking time lout of our lives that we won’t get back.

I have seen many instances of great performances in movies that are satisfactory. This is unique as the performance of Ana de Armas is incredible, but I can’t say the same for the overall film. Dominik got in his own way and the only thing that saved this movie was the performance of the lead. But I am not reviewing a performance but a movie.

Blonde is not a good movie. It could have been but it’s not.

Grade: C-

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