Blonde

From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, this reimagined fictional portrait of Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.

  • Released: 2022-11-11
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, History, Mystery
  • Stars: Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Garret Dillahunt, Julianne Nicholson, Sara Paxton, Toby Huss, Scoot McNairy, Rebecca Wisocky, Catherine Dent, Sonny Valicenti, David Warshofsky, Evan Williams, Xavier Samuel, Ned Bellamy, Caspar Phillipson, Lucy DeVito, Michael Masini, Spencer Garrett, Chris Lemmon, Dan Butler, Lily Fisher, Colleen Foy, Haley Webb, Brian Konowal, Tatum Shank, Andrew Thacher, Alexander Kanellakos, Dominic Leeder, Lidia Sabljic, Isabel Dresden, Skip Pipo, Tyler Bruhn, Ravil Isyanov, Tim Ransom, Judy Kain, Time Winters, Rob Brownstein, Danielle Jane Darling, Mia McGovern Zaini, Rob Nagle, Emil Beheshti, Jeremy Shouldis, Ethan Cohn, Steve Bannos, Mike Ostroski, Deana Molle', Danielle Lima, Christopher Kriesa, Eric Matheny, Jerry Hauck, Scott Hislop, Dieterich Gray, Kiva Jump, Patrick Brennan, Chris Moss, Ryan Vincent, Brian Konowal, Eden Riegel, Tygh Runyan, Vanessa Lemonides, Michael Drayer, Claudia Smith, Mary-Pat Green, Ron West, Flynn Pratt, Scott Wilder, Sal Landi, Seth Meriwether, Darrin M. Schlie, Juli├ín Rebolledo, Allan Havey, Tereza Rizzardi, Mia McGovern Zaini, Garret Dillahunt
  • Director: Andrew Dominik
 Comments
  • bobicafge - 16 March 2024
    Daddy Issues Predominate
    First, I will say that Ana de Armas gives a luminous performance in this film as Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jean Baker. You can't take your eyes off her. Unfortunately, the rest of the film frustrated me. First, by starting the narrative in Monroe's childhood and completing it at her death, the film's length meant it skipped over major events in her life. There have been numerous books and films depicting the life of Marilyn Monroe. This one chose to show Monroe's emotional issues as being related to her never having known her father, and then spending her life trying to impress him. This certainly could be a cause of many of her emotional problems, not to mention her tendency to marry older men successful in their own right, but the film was a bit heavy-handed with this theme (for instance, having her call both father-figure husbands "Daddy"). Another cinematic device overused here is the dreamy fantasy sequences, some of which starred Monroe's unborn babies. She either miscarried or aborted 3-4 children (I got a bit lost on this point). Other plot points were confusing, as they were thrown in with little introduction or explanation. For instance, they depict a three-way relationship (which was both friendly and sexual) between Monroe, Edward G. Robinson, Jr. And Charlie Chaplin Jr., (known as Cass). These two men also had huge Daddy issues with their famous fathers.

    Bottom line: probably worth seeing if you are a devoted Monroe fan because of the star turn by de Armas, but those who aren't will likely be confused by the amorphous plot.

    Note for parents: This film is NOT suitable for children due to explicit nudity and sex.
  • tedz_92 - 2 January 2024
    Fictional abomination of someones trauma
    Beside the fact that Ana de Armas acts well, This movie should never been made. In this day and age when we know how important and dire mental health is, making a movie about an iconic woman in this sort of way, is straight up cruel.

    The plot doesn't have a clear focus wether on to making you root for the title character, cry for the title character or feel angry about what's done to the FICITIONAL title character. This movie simply exploits her legacy and good name to the point of making revenue and some director getting lukewarm attention.

    You don't have to watch this because all this movie does is making You feel ambivalent to how humanity treats and exploits someone elses pain for their own gain. Don't watch it.
  • fciocca - 12 January 2023
    Disjointed and incomprehensible artsy film about Marilyn Monroe, that definitely over welcomed its staying.
    I am not an expert on Marilyn's professional and personal life, but I know enough to know that this was for the most part invented. At this point you might as well create a plot about an invented character and create a story around it. There are a few well written dialogues here and there, but the final result is just a pretentious movie that feels disjointed, suffering from an identity crisis. There are some scenes that fit well in a biopic, but then you have these dreamy sequences that could be part of fantasy production, followed up by some horror and thriller moments. For sure Monroe was over victimized: seeing Ana de Armas crying for most of the time was really annoying, and I am sorry to say this because I think she is a skilled actress, but here was just unbearable. Obviously the fault is all on the screenwriters, who wrote a mediocre character that has no depth whatsoever. Overall there was a huge waste of talents; seeing people such as Adam Broody and Bobby Cannavale being involved in this project is really shameful; considering that their career is marked by great successes, they could aim for better jobs. "Blonde" is a boredom fest of almost three hours where very little happens. This could be an opportunity to introduce to the younger generation the Monroe legend with a simple and effective biography that would actually explain her life, what were her achievements, how she changed the entertainment industry, leaving her own mark and of course explaining her decline into the tragic death.

    It is really a pity, because from a technical perspective, I have really enjoyed this movie and the cinematography was the only thing that made me keep watching this chaos of a film. I am not sure what Netflix was trying to achieve here, but they confirmed once again that the quality of the content is dropping rapidly. I personally do not recommend it, you will save a lot of time.
  • rennyalonzo - 1 January 2023
    Why, why, why??!!
    The opportunity to show the real detail most people would like to know about one of the most known 20th century icon!!

    The acting is wonderful, Ana de Armas make such a great play, excellent casting and the effects are great. The problem here is the story. I know it's based on the Joyce Carol's novel but I'd keep it in a book.

    Another point is that people who doesn't know the novel could get confused about the reality!

    I'm really desapointed of this movie and hope some good writer make something really worth to watch and spend time with !!

    Overly sexualized and nothing is told about her desease endometriosis, the reason she never could have kids.

    If you like the cinematics techniques, this movie is for you, otherwise don't waste your time!!
  • yarovoyeduard-20573 - 26 December 2022
    critics who give 10 to Spider-Man
    I think this is a top 100 contender for the great movies of our century. Definitely. Beautiful and dramatic, artistic psychological drama. Imdb 5.5 of course because now is the era of critics who give 10 to Spider-Man. But time will tell. Once again, this is a very cool movie.

    22 m$ budget is a penny for such a movie, purely for Netflix without cinemas.

    Naturally, it's easier to watch some kind of action movie popcorn than to turn on your head and be imbued with tragedies. Aesthetics, depth of shots and of course a great female role.

    Really enjoyed watching. Those who love non-trivial films will enjoy watching this picture.
  • jessicahmatchan - 18 December 2022
    People leaving good reviews are missing the point
    If this were a film about a random woman being abused in 1950s Hollywood I could give a better rating but it's not.

    Just from watching another Netflix documentary that gives clips of her interviews etc it's pretty clear that the character displayed in this film is not an accurate portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. This seems more like a potential portrayal of one of the characters she plays in a film - eg gentlemen prefer blondes. In real life in interviews she seems to me to be very intelligent just from the way she answers questions. Even very difficult questions she finds uncomfortable - she knows how to handle herself and still come across in a very appealing way. To also then understand how to act a bit more like an air head I think just shows her good acting skills and intelligence. The fact people watch her and believe she is an air head herself in a way is a credit to her acting skills. With the men around her who were potentially able to contribute to her success I think it helped her for them to think of her more as a bit of an air head perhaps.

    Given the incredibly hard upbringing and sexual abuse she did endure as a child it is even more impressive how she overcame this to achieve greatness and even more insulting to portray her as some doll that is directed around by men. In this film she is given minimal credit for her own success. This inaccurate portrayal is absolutely further abuse predominantly by men of a woman who has already suffered so much in life and now they continue in her death.

    Many women have achieved greatness despite living in circumstances where they naturally have less power eg Elizabeth I, Cleopatra.

    Marilyn Monroe was very savvy and despite her own personal trauma learned how to use her femininity to become a star and gain power.

    I think it's likely she couldn't have got to where she did without the help of men she undoubtedly had sexual relationships with. This the truth is a far more interesting story that even today I am sure women would relate to which is sad. This shouldn't be the case and I hope it happens less now.

    She possibly also was raped in Hollywood which is horrendous but the portrayal in this film is even more horrendous. Watching it felt more like a threat - women know your place you are powerless this is what men can do to you. Look how weak she is. I hated this. Marilyn Monroe was not weak.

    Even if it wasn't about Monroe this rape scene still felt more like a porn scene for a sadistic man.

    Even if something like this definitely happened i think showing it like this on its own without any other supporting scene (eg showing his hateful life or her picking herself up and feeling stronger) Is again just further kind of abuse of women . If this has happened to you watching it would be unbearable as it's portrayed on its own as a scene like that. I don't think you can justify the fact that it might have happened to just leave it in the film as it was left.

    Similarly the scene with jfk. I'm not saying this couldn't have happened as this is the kind of scenario I imagine when I think of Harvey Weinstein for example. However for a victim to go through something like that and to portray that victim in such a negative light as if she is just some doll or plaything and is a complete air head is just abusing women even further considering this film is about a real person.

    It seems just a v sexist, certain male viewpoint on women that watching made me feel so disgusted.

    It's like the reverse of #metoo instead of victims feeling empowered to speak out I imagine this would shut you up.

    That's why I find women leaving reviews saying how great it is to show what Marilyn Monroe went through just so hard to read. This film doesn't do it in a nice light it almost feels like it glorifies it.

    Similarly the whole pro life stance. This just to me seemed like a soundboard for someone to push their views onto society and then pretend it has something to do with a Hollywood icon?? So distasteful.

    I haven't read the book so assuming this is a really accurate presentation of the book I'm sorry for only giving 1 star. Also was impressed by the actress playing Marilyn in terms of her playing a really good version of one of the characters Marilyn played in a film anyway (but a more depressed version) so I feel bad to give such a low rating however I found the film so offensive I couldn't give higher.
  • josepaulo-72710 - 10 December 2022
    Diamonds are Hollywood's best friend
    Been meaning to review this for a few days now, but I haven't quite got the time nor the words nor the will to get cancelled, so I won't say a lot.

    I will say one thing though - In my prespective, Blonde shouldn't be viewed as a disgusting exploitation of Marylin's name and career, but rather as a semi-fictional story of a woman that suffered in silence while everyone thought that all those glitters were gold. For me Blonde serves as a cautionary tale, as a movie that reprimands Hollywood abusive culture.

    But then again, the beauty about art and in this case, moving pictures, is that they are subjective and everyone can form their own opinions about them.

    Wether you love it, wether you hate it I think we can all agree that Ana de Armas is absolutely brilliant.
  • carkol2005 - 28 November 2022
    You cannot deny it's exploitative
    The movie and the director tries but eventually it is just uninspired, shallow and melodramatic. You know you are in trouble when the narrative feels like a handful of disjointed scenes, with no subtlety whatsoever. Ana de Armas also tries, and actually succeeds in some instances of the movie, but she can't help it when the script is so amateurishly written and the sequences don't have a real resolution to give the movie the strength it needs. This is, definitely, one textbook example of "Less is more and more can be substantially less". The writer thinks "we need drama, so let's fill the movie with drama in all places, all the time". But that's not how you build drama. You build it when the narrative needs to. And when I say drama, I do not mean tragic moments, but moments when Marilyn faces some conflict. The director has this idea of, when something of this nature happens to her, she needs to either cry or have an outburst. Literally, at the end of almost any sequence. But that does not work, at all, because by doing that all the moments have a similar dramatic weight, and hence the narrative becomes flat, and you kill the drama. In fact, it reminded of The Revenant (2015) in that regard. Why not making the character more subtle, more three-dimensional? It doesn't have to pretend to be a tear-jerker all the time, because that's very dumb! Anyway, that's the main flaw with the movie.

    The other flaws? First, the sketchy nature of the sequences. There are some big moments in the movie that are basically skipped over. The movie takes a huge leap into Marilyn's life and, in that lapse of time, many important things happen to her that you don't get to see, but they are referenced later. So when she mentions the first time she and JFK "met", all you think is: "Yeah, I guess. It was never shown". Another example of this is when she breaks up with Charlie Chaplin Jr. And Edward G. Robinson Jr. This is a very important plot point in the movie as she says to one of them she can't live withouth him. But later on, they appeared to blackmail Joe DiMaggio, as there had been bad blood between them and Marilyn. And you go again "Yeah, I guess. It was never shown". Marilyn, as a character, becomes sketchy too. For example, there is a scene when she finds out Jane Russell is going to make much money for a movie than her. But the movie never showed Marilyn to be narcissistic, or competitive, or envious in any way. So, this trait of her personality is thrown at you, with no previous development whatsoever. It comes and goes in a flash.

    Second. The surreal/weird moments of the movie. You see, for some reason the movie often includes some strange "modern" elements in its narrative. One of them are the CGI-rendered phoetus sequences. And let me tell you: they are so repetitive and hammered in and unnecesary I cringed not few times. And they are included not one, not two, but three times in the movie! The second time around the phoetus even has a voiceover!! And Marilyn replied to it. Yeah, not kidding. Also, when Marilyn is drugged some background characters faces are badly distorted using some After Effects tool or something. It shouts "lack of subtlety" from the mountaintops.

    And third, which everyone agrees with: its exploitation of the character(s). I don't know why, but the movie is obssessed with portraying all the characters as sadistic, or horny, or "controversial", if you know what I mean. Take for example, the scene when JFK is talking by the phone. What was the point of that scene, other than to try to feature another r*** scene involving Marilyn? And I could pass one or two, but when every people who is sexually involved with Marilyn has one, everything makes me believe that they exist just to be exploitative and to cash onto the sexualization of the Marilyn figure.

    Now, it's time for some positives. For one, I cannot deny, the movie has some style and some identity to it. There's always this sense of dread and morbidness around Marilyn, and that adds a strange vibe to the movie, something I think these kinds of biopic need so bad. Also, I was much more impressed with Ana de Armas than I thought I was gonna be. On the other hand, there are some sequences that are very well directed and scripted. For example, when she is rehearsing a scene from "Don't Bother to Knock". I thought the camerawork in that scene was perfect and the final breakout of Marilyn's character was very well done. The initial sequence was really good too. I also appreciated some of the outbursts she has throughout the movie, for example in the "Some Like it Hot" scene. The final sequence could have been bombastic and in your face, as the rest of the movie, and it was handled good enough. Marilyn lying in bed, with only her legs in the frame, conveys a sense of calmness and subtlety of a tragic event that is much better directed than almost everything else. The movie has its highs and lows but, overall, it's pretty mediocre, as it could have been much much better than what we got. 5/10.
  • misterjoneznme - 13 November 2022
    Excellent actress, solid source material, horrendous screenplay adaptation.
    This film was surprisingly entertaining, despite its conscious and ongoing efforts to be disturbing. The lead actress does a wonderful job of aping MM's on-screen persona and offers several memorable dramatic performances throughout the three-hour runtime. The source material selected some of the lowlights of Monroe's career to focus on, and these ran the gamut from uncomfortable to sympathetic viewing.

    But where the film really falls down is in attempting to portray itself as some kind of biopic. Marilyn Monroe was one of the most potent forces in Hollywood during her prime. She ran her own companies, starred in a tremendous number of films, and ran in social circles at the highest levels. She was intelligent, ambitious, courageous, determined and unflinching in her pursuit of success.

    The woman portrayed in the film, on the other hand, is a perpetual victim of everyone and everything around her. She displays none of the ruthlessness required of a Hollywood star, none of the intelligence which powered her meteoric rise, and none of the savvy that let her move from one ambitious project to the next throughout her career.

    Instead, the film portrays her real self as the on-screen persona, which in reality frequently bordered on caricature because that's what Marilyn Monroe was: an exaggerated persona which she masterfully sold to the viewing public.

    Now I do understand that, in some sense, the child inside each of us never really goes away. So if you view this film as Marilyn Monroe's life seen *solely* from the perspective of the little girl she once was, then it makes some kind of sense. In fact, that's what I found myself doing after about twenty minutes of runtime featuring grown-up Norma Jean, and it made the rest of the film watchable (I'm not sure it would have been without these mental gymnastics).

    Honestly, the lead actress is great at what she does, which is deliver a story based on Norma Jean's life with Norma Jean played by Marilyn Monroe instead of the other way around. So as a piece of fairly eccentric art which seeks to invert reality and fantasy in bizarre ways, it works. As a biopic of one of Hollywood's most iconic legends, it's horrible. As a vehicle for some great dramatic scenes, most of which focus on Marilyn, it's solid to good.