When Blonde goes on Netflix in September, fans are anticipating seeing Ana de Armas portray Marilyn Monroe. The fact that Blonde is Netflixs first NC-17 rated film has piqued the interest of prospective viewers. Now that Andrew Dominiks' film has premiered at the Venice Film Festival, critics are weighing in on the actress' performance and the film that promises to offend everyone.
The film which is based on Joyce Carol Oates' book and is a fictionalized portrayal of Marilyn Monroe's life also includes Adrien Brody as Arthur Miller, Bobby Cannavale as Joe DiMaggio, Caspar Phillipson as John F. Kennedy, and many others. Let's see what the reviews have to say about the film that will be available on Netflix on September 28.
Blonde is physically difficult to watch and often feels like a slaughterhouse seen from the animals' point of view, according to Bilge Ebiri of Vulture. The abuse is repetitive, but the films never get bored, and Ana de Armas' portrayal works, according to the critic:
Ana de Armas isn't exactly what one might expect. She's certainly committed to a role that demands extreme physicality, enormous nudity, and tears. She flawlessly mimics Monroe's half-breathless speech. But she retains some of her accent, which isn't concealed by the film. This gives the whole endeavor a somewhat performative quality.
Empire's Catherine Bray rates the film 3 stars out of 5, claiming that the leading actress' performance is impressive, and perhaps excessively, and that Andrew Dominik asks his character to play a perfect Marilyn Monroe throughout.
There is a fine line between retolding how Marilyn Monroe was undervalued and joining in with that assessment. Blonde doesn't always wind up the right side of that line, but has stunning visual fireworks to spare.
Blonde is given a C+ by IndieWire's Sophie Monks Kaufman, claiming that it only further tarnishes Marilyn Monroe's reputation with its story of victimization and exploitation. According to the review, Andrew Dominik admonishes the world for seeing the actress as nothing more than a breathy blonde with daddy issues, but treats her the same way.
Norma will never be able to attain that perfection, not even for a second, as interpreted by Dominik (who also wrote the screenplay himself). De Arma is playing a character who has no autonomy; her task is to paint her wounds with sentient memory foam.
Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair agrees with other critics that this nearly three-hour film is a nightmare to watch. This critic chooses to see Blonde through the lens of other women, including Britney Spears, who have been crushed by the pressures of fame.
Blonde is a film that is partly about exploitation that may be exploitative in itself. If the film is aware of that meta function, then Blonde is a bit odd. If not, and Dominik thinks he is genuinely ennobling Monroe and expressing some sort of radical pity for her, then Blonde is a bit naive.
Owen Gleiberman of Variety responds to criticism of Ana de Armas' casting, particularly in regards to her Cuban accent, saying he hears only the flicker, the echo of a Cuban inflection, and that no big deal should be made of it, because the actress absolutely becomes Marilyn Monroe.
De Armas has to create every nuance of Monroe's beautiful surface, including the big eyes that popped open with bedazzled admiration, the sweet raspy voice of spun sugar that sounded like a grown woman pretending to be a little girl who mocked, with a glint of affection, her own theater of innocence. In Blonde, she delivers nothing less than what we expect.
Blonde sounds like a tough watch, but its certainly a film many would want to see for themselves, especially Marilyn Monroe's biggest fans. Be sure to check out our 2022 Netflix Movie Schedule as well as our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to start planning your next visit to the cinema.