The following article contains spoilers for Blonde, according to editors.
Andrew Dominik warned us that his NC-17 portrait of Marilyn Monroe would offend everyone. Or, rather, he boasted.
The writer-director directed a three-hour epic based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name, named Ana de Armas the blonde bombshell, and credited the #MeToo movement for finally facilitating the film's financing. Oates called the film Dominiks the most surprising and totally feminist interpretation of her novel, tweeting that it is the first for a male director to achieve something [like] this.
That's one way of putting it.
Another would be to claim that Blonde is a horrific tone-deaf reminder that a female perspective should be included, or at least requested, when writing about abortion. Although Blonde was widely praised on gossip websites like DeuxMoi for disturbing rape sequences (one such rumor that Dominik dispelled included de Armas as Monroe being assaulted while on her period), the real trigger warning is for a trio of CGI fetuses who ask why Monroe murdered them
According to Oates, according to Dominik, and, presumably, according to Brad Pitts Plan B Productions, this is our feminist statement in post-Roe v. Wade America?
Dominik's tale of Monroe being an unwanted child that became the most wanted person in the world didn't have to include three unwanted children of her own: she is raped by a studio head, kidnapped and held down twice by doctors as she begs to keep her babies; the other fetus, who actually visits Monroe while she is gardening, leaves her in a horrific miscarriage.
Monroe, whose body is just being invoked here for shock value, often disassociates from her flesh to survive fame. Dominik characterized his film as capturing what it's like to go through the Hollywood meat-grinder, claiming that his magnum opus is like Citizen Kane and Raging Bull's baby daughter, Amy Coney Barrett.
Monroe's first termination of her pregnancy begins with her asking for a studio secretary to assist her with her pregnancy after realizing her abusive mother's behavior. Nonetheless, she decides to keep the baby, and the camera follows a DNC tube through her vaginal walls. The audience is trapped during this sequence, much like Monroe's surgical assault on the Some Like It Hot star.
One out of every three women has admitted to having abortions, despite Democratic leaders requiring forced births for pregnant women, even those with health threats or rape victims. According to Dominik, which is more traumatic?
When Monroe is claimed to have been impregnated by the philandering president John F. Kennedy, she is surprised and shocked by the thought that the procedure is a terrible dream, but as she wakes up covered in blood all over her abdomen, it's clear the nightmare is only beginning.
Sure, Blonde was at least two decades in the making, and this was 20 years ago, when most Americans believed Roe v. Wade would be upheld. However, as of 2022, the landmark Supreme Court decision supporting women's healthcare and fundamental right to body autonomy was overturned, putting more than half of American women living in anti-choice states in danger.
The Turnaway Study, a decade-long study by the University of California San Francisco, addresses the challenges facing women who have been denied abortions.
Diana Greene Foster, a Turnaway Study denominator, declared the overturn of Roe v. Wade unfathomable even in her worst nightmares in an interview with NPR.
Hollywood has issued a call to action, with Blonde distributor Netflix among the companies that are pledging to pay employee travel expenses for out-of-state abortions. More than a thousand showrunners and filmmakers have written a letter requesting that production companies disclose if they are funding anti-abortion politicians and also cease filming in anti-choice states.
Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Venice winner Happening have also struck a chord with viewers, humanizing this vital surgery because, for so long, Hollywood and Americans as a whole have avoided seeing the details behind the necessity of abortion rights onscreen.
Diablo Cody, a Juno writer-director, spoke out about her 2007 drama about a teen pregnancy and adoption journey. It's important to me to make that clear, according to Cody. But, you know, I can see how the movie might be perceived as anti-choice. And that's heartbreaking to me.
Cody continued, "If someone had said to me at the time as a carefree, younger, third-wave feminist that Roe v. Wade would be overturned in 2022, I would have been shocked and I would have assumed we were heading toward some sort of bizarre dystopia," she said. I never intended the film to be any sort of political statement.
Is Dominik really that innocent, or does he just care?
Jennifer Kaityn Robinson, an unpregnant filmmaker, created a road trip drama that felt relatable, honest, and without the stigmatized shame that is prescribed to women after abortion. Do Revenge, a new independent film, is now streaming on Netflix, alongside Blonde.
Blonde demonstrates that Monroes body is not her own. Her famous curves and distinctive smile belong to America, both presumably keeping her from having a white picket fence and a nuclear family. But because Roe was overturned, all womens bodies are now at the mercy of the United States.
Blonde is now available in selected cinemas and will be available on Netflix beginning Wednesday, September 28.