Blonde (2022)

blonde poster 2022 movie
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 3/10

Ana de Armas

Trainwreck movie plot and visuals

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Blonde

Studio:  Plan B Entertainment

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  September 8, 2022 (Venice Film Festival)/September 16, 2022 (US)

MPAA Rating:  NC-17

blonde cass chaplin norma jeane marilyn monroe ana de armas xavier samuel

Used by everyone

Norma Jeane Mortenson (Ana de Armas) is a woman born out of wedlock to a mentally unstable mother (Julianne Nicholson) who longs for acceptance.  As she becomes a Hollywood start based more on her looks than her acting ability, “Marilyn Monroe” finds herself constantly tossed off from one man to another as some try to help her others try to use her.  As Norma Jeane comes to accept that she isn’t Norma Jeane anymore, the beast of Marilyn Monroe takes over.

Directed by Andrew Dominik, Blonde is a fictional drama biopic.  The film is an adaptation of the 2000 novel Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates.  It received an NC-17 rating and became the first NC-17 picture to be released to streaming when it was released on Netflix on September 28, 2022.  It received Razzie Award nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Remake/Rip-Off/Sequel, Worst Supporting Actor (Xavier Samuel), Worst Screen Couple (Both Real Life Characters in the Fallacious White House Bedroom Scene; Andrew Dominik & His Issues with Women), Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay.

blonde seven year itch marilyn monroe ana de armas

Ana de Armas has a Seven Year Itch…

I was kind of excited by Blonde when I heard about it being released.  I don’t have a lot of Marilyn Monroe background, but I always like movies that push the boundaries.  Having seen movies like This Film Is Not Yet Rated, you see how unfair the rating board is…and how giving a movie a NC-17 rating can be doom.  Streaming could stop that, but Blonde isn’t the answer.

The movie is all over the place.  It is a fictional biopic in a lot of ways since it is generally from Norma Jeane’s perspective and there are things we’ll never know about her life as Marilyn Monroe because of her death.  The writing is rather poor and the film stretches a painful three hours.  It follows much of the basic outline of Norma Jeane’s life with embellishment.

What can’t be denied is that Ana de Armas gives it her all and the make-up artists do a good job transforming her.  The role asks for a lot of nudity and vulnerability.  She goes in completely.  It sometimes feels like an imitation of Marilyn Monroe, but largely Armas makes Marilyn her own.  She’s surrounded by a decent supporting cast including Adrien Brody and Bobby Cannavale…but the movie is about Armas (though it is fun seeing actors cast as other celebrities).

blonde ana de armas jfk blowjob marilyn monroe

Happy Birthday, Mr. President….

The movie is often destroyed by the stylized look.  It feels like Andrew Dominik just decided to throw every editing and special effect into his movie.  A like Quentin Tarantino has more reason behind the visuals…here, it feels like the visuals are just tacked on here and there with no control or restraint.  The movie is distracting in its look.

Blonde isn’t a good movie, but it is a bit hypnotic in its over-the-top nature.  It is the type of movie that really has to be taken in chunks not only because of its length, but it is just too much (while still managing to be boring at points).  If it wasn’t a major motion picture, you could see the movie being a 1990s TV movie adaptation (minus the nudity).  It just doesn’t hold up…and Ana de Armas and Norma Jeane deserve better.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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