Movie Review: Blonde (2022)

Now on Netflix.

Some like it heavy handed. Blonde (D-), Andrew Dominick’s rough and tumble fictionalized fantasia about movie actress Marilyn Monroe played by Ana de Armas, is so consistent in its depiction of dehumanization that it simply devolves into a tedious task. The film traces the icon through a traumatic childhood, touching on her pinup years and following her through two troubled marriages before that candle burns out long before the legend ever did. Dominick gets some credit for experimenting with traditional biopic tropes as he endlessly circles, underscores, outlines and dog ears his facile thesis. It’s altogether more sad than sexy and definitely more irritating than enlightening. The talented Ana de Armas is fully committed to the role but is forced into story beats equal parts dumb and degrading. The notion that the Marilyn we know was simply an illusion and that we the viewers are shallow voyeurs doesn’t make for much of a movie experience. No amount of fun house film stock, morphing aspect ratio, or swerving and unnerving shifts from black and white to color can mask the jaundiced jackhammer behind this bleak, pulverizing and ultimately pointless exercise.

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