Andrew Dominik’s film “Blonde” is Nothing More than a Waste of Time
Synopsis: A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.
Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Ana de Armas, Lily Fisher, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale
The first time I saw Ana de Armas on screen was in the film Knock Knock. It wasn’t critically acclaimed, but I liked it. It was de Armas’ first major English-speaking role and her breakout film. She went on to have many supporting parts in films such as Knives Out, Blade Runner 2049 and was one of the best things in No Time to Die. In fact, there was general criticism that de Armas didn’t get enough screen time in the last Bond film.
Ana de Armas has been quietly developing her resume with lead parts in films like Sergio and Deep Water, and while she may not be a household name, she should be as she’s a very strong actress.
Her latest venture on the screen is in Blonde, a fictionalized account of the life of Marilyn Monroe. This is the time of year when the slow march to awards season begins, and we see many biographies; the iconic Monroe film is perfectly timed.
Directed by Andrew Dominic, the movie opens with Norma Jeanne (Monroe) as a child, and we quickly see that her mother is in no position to take care of her. The film then jumps to her as an adult, played by de Amras. I would have liked the movie to explore more about her childhood, but that’s a minor comment.
The movie is a bizarre odyssey. We see how Monroe was treated by execs and the people in her life; to say she had some rough experiences is an understatement. We also see that the director wants to stretch out every scene. An extremely long closeup on her feet in a bed, a prolonged scene as she tries to find her wallet, etc. The film is long and stretched out because the director made it long and stretched it out. Dominik went for quantity over quality.
Blonde is playing in theatres and on Netflix. Go for the Netflix option; you can pause, move around, and get the circulation back.
Now, some parts of the film are hard to watch. Not the nudity. If you are familiar with de Armas’ work, you know that nude scenes aren’t foreign to her; it is more about how the people in Monroe’s world treated her and how it impacted her.
If you are a big fan of Monroe, I don’t know that this film enhances her legacy. That may not be the point of the movie, however. I actually don’t know what the point is.
To her credit, Ana de Armas delivers a tour de force performance. Her acting is not in question here. She takes the material, makes it her own, and solidifies herself as one of the great actors working today. Her ability to dive into the role and give us an authentic version of Marilyn Monroe needs to be commended.
What doesn’t need to be praised is that Andrew Dominik made a bizarre film that serves as nothing more than sucking time out of our lives, that we won’t get back.
Ana de Armas is incredible, but I can’t say the same for the overall film. Dominik got in his own way. The only thing that saved this movie was the lead actress, but I’m not reviewing a performance but a movie.
Blonde is not a good movie. It could have been, but it’s not.
Watch the movie trailer: