Reviews | Written by Jonathan Anderson 05/10/2022

BLONDE

This quasi-fictional adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s book is not so much a biopic but more a Lynchian horror. Here, a tortured Marilyn Monroe (Ana de Armas giving it her all) may as well be Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks or Betty Elms in Mulholland Drive.

At nearly three hours long, the film shows the rise and fall of Monroe in an avalanche of traumatic experiences documenting some of her most famous films and relationships. Surviving an unstable mother, an absent father, selfish friends, and an industry and society unwilling to look beyond her blonde hair or sex appeal, Monroe is portrayed as a woman torn between the Norma-Jeane who wants to settle down and start a family and the invented Marilyn who is destined for stardom at any price.

At times the film can be a bit over the top as the melodrama is unflinchingly rammed down our throats, and many scenes need to be viewed with a pinch of salt as they simply may never have happened. However, Blonde does give a refreshing, darker take on Monroe’s Hollywood dream as well as boldly showing the nastier side of American ‘heroes’ such as Joe DiMaggio and JFK. While touched upon, we do not get a full exploration of Monroe’s more questionable decisions and therefore we can only view her as the consistent victim of her own story.

BLONDE is out now, exclusive to Netflix