Blonde 2022

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If I had a steak, I would f**k it!
So I saw Blonde, one of the best and worst movies of the year.

How is that possible? A lot of its strengths are also weaknesses. A lot of the controversy around this movie is its portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. I will say that if you would like to keep your image of her as a strong, feminist icon intact, don't watch this movie. It very much shows her as a lost, vulnerable ditz who kind of went through life never thinking about anything and letting others control her. But I think that was intentional, maybe? The movie is based on a book that fictionalized her life to explore the character (see The Last Temptation of Christ), and I would guess that behind the scenes, she wasn't the empowered woman she tried to present herself as, and the movie is using its artistic license to show that. However, I do think it goes too far at times and the over-the-top, cartoonish caricature can get grating after awhile. So I totally understand the complaints and I probably wouldn't argue with anyone about it.

The style also threw a few people. It's not your average biopic, it's more of a trippy, stream of consciousness type style. I actually enjoyed it. I thought it fit the wild life they were trying to portray and also added more entertainment value to the movie. However, this too could get old sometimes. I've only seen one of Andrew Dominik's other movies, Killing Them Softly, which I didn't like, but I kind of get the sense this is a bit of a self-indulgent director.

One aspect everyone seems to agree on is that Ana de Armas was fantastic, at least with what she had to work with. I don't see this movie getting a ton of Oscar nods, but maybe she will, we'll see.

Finally, let's talk about that NC-17 rating. This is the first Netflix release to have one, and honestly, I hoped it would be the movie to break the barrier for NC-17 rated movies to be allowed in theaters (provided the workers do their job and don't let underage people in) and for moviegoers to stop automatically thinking of them as pornos. I don't know if this movie will do that with all the negative reactions it's getting, but I guess time will tell. If you're wondering about the content that got it that rating, I'll try to explain without TMI. To be quite honest, if we're just talking about the quantity of sex or nude scenes or even how graphic they are, I've seen worse in some R-rated movies and even some TV shows. However, there are some specific acts portrayed here that wouldn't normally be in a mainstream movie and this movie does dwell on it a bit, so I would guess that's why it's NC-17.

Would I recommend the movie? I can't honestly say. If you've heard all of the reactions and still think it sounds interesting, then go for it. But if you think some of the negative aspects people have brought up might turn you off, I'd recommend staying away because they're all basically true.

+-3/5



Let me be the first to post the usual replies:

*You can't judge the movie if you haven't seen it.
*You didn't know Marilyn Monroe so who's to say what kind of person she really was.
*If you don't like the idea of the movie don't watch it.


No, those are not my thoughts.



is that the movie that people didnt like cause of too sexual or something i heard about it other day 🤨🤔
Itís hard to make a movie based on a real person (Marilyn Monroe). Some people have their own ďMarilynĒ & donít like how she is perceived in the movie. Other people are unhappy with this movie for a variety of other reasons. Iím gonna see it & Iím looking forward to it.
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Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.



I have tried to watch it several times. But the score is like the Chinese water torture.
I really am interested in seeing but...



Itís hard to make a movie based on a real person (Marilyn Monroe). Some people have their own ďMarilynĒ & donít like how she is perceived in the movie. Other people are unhappy with this movie for a variety of other reasons. Iím gonna see it & Iím looking forward to it.
I have tried to watch it several times. But the score is like the Chinese water torture.
I really am interested in seeing but...
I'm real interested in reading both of your opinions after you watch the movie, assuming you make it through it Myself I'm not watching it, but curious about reactions to it.



I'm real interested in reading both of your opinions after you watch the movie, assuming you make it through it Myself I'm not watching it, but curious about reactions to it.
Wonít be any time soon for me. Loads of stuff scheduled to watch before that movie.



Watched it... hated it. Worse than that actually, I thought it was pretty disgusting. I loved Andrew Dominik up until this but this was three hours of misery.

Has anyone seen his BFI interview?

https://www.bfi.org.uk/sight-and-sou...dominik-blonde

It's an absolute disgrace. The way he talks about Marilyn and dismisses her achievements because she killed herself is disgusting. He claims no one actually watches her movies, and trashes Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The way he talks about her and women is revolting. I'm not really one for cancel culture or trying to police language but people can read that and watch the movie and make up their own minds. For me it's clear that he absolutely hates Marilyn.

If his thin justification is that her happiness is irrelevant because ultimately it was her inescapable suffering that brought upon her death, he doesn't do a good job showing it. The film has a few childhood trauma scenes prefacing the rest of it but it doesn't let up or show anything interesting even within its darkness.
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It's an absolute disgrace. The way he talks about Marilyn and dismisses her achievements because she killed herself is disgusting.
I don't think he dismisses her achievements per se. He says that he's not interested in her achievements as far as making Blonde goes because it's not what the film is about. Dominik wanted to make a visual-heavy stream-of-consciousness misery porn exploitation movie. And succeeded. This film is something like Malick making Nymphomaniac but on a real person, which is the crux of most people's issues with the film.
He claims no one actually watches her movies, and trashes Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
To be fair, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is not that good. The article you linked seems to gloss over that with just a short summary at the beginning. I think he talks about all that in an unpublished part of the interview:



The way he talks about her and women is revolting.
Are you referring to his use of the word 'whore'? I can't remember the film well enough to say whether the women in this film were whores or not, but there definitely are two things to mind here. The first is obvious. And I already forgot the second.

For me it's clear that he absolutely hates Marilyn.
I think it's one thing you may deduce from these interviews and the movie. Another is that he doesn't give a hoot about making a film to please the audience or the contemporary political climate.

If his thin justification is that her happiness is irrelevant because ultimately it was her inescapable suffering that brought upon her death, he doesn't do a good job showing it. The film has a few childhood trauma scenes prefacing the rest of it but it doesn't let up or show anything interesting even within its darkness.
Dominik for sure takes artistic liberties, crafting a highly visual portrait based on Monroe as a myth more than Monroe as a person. His approach is not unlike the direction of an exploitation cinema crafter. It's undeniable he exploits Monroe's image. Does he exploit Monroe, too? You could definitely say that. Dominik's portrayal of Monroe is indeed not fit for contemporary PC times when women tend to be strong and liberated. Blonde paints the portrait of a mentally unstable person who copes with her own traumas. Is it immoral to make it a film on Monroe, specifically, and not on some random Monroe lookalike? Maybe. But it's Monroe that's the icon. It's Monroe's myth. By now, it's a separate entity from the actual Monroe person. I think Dominik made a film he wanted to make, and people are angry about everything the film isn't. Like, it's a movie based on a fictional book. You can't criticize Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ for not being true to the Bible. Because this film is not based on the Bible but on Nikos Kazantzakis' novel.



I don't think he dismisses her achievements per se. He says that he's not interested in her achievements as far as making Blonde goes because it's not what the film is about. Dominik wanted to make a visual-heavy stream-of-consciousness misery porn exploitation movie. And succeeded. This film is something like Malick making Nymphomaniac but on a real person, which is the crux of most people's issues with the film.
That's not my issue. If he wants it to be miserable he can, but as a filmmaker there's nothing good or interesting about it. Why is it good just because he wants to make a miserable film and succeeded? That's a low barometer for what makes a good film.

For the record I also think Nymphomaniac was terrible. There are plenty of films about suffering and exploitation that I love. I think Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me is a masterpiece about abuse.

To be fair, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is not that good. The article you linked seems to gloss over that with just a short summary at the beginning. I think he talks about all that in an unpublished part of the interview:
It's a great film but you're entitled to your opinion. This bloke is a film director and says that people don't watch her films. He's like a teenager who's just discovered films and has just watched the classics he's supposed to. Monroe worked with Huston, Wilder and Hawks multiple times and they're all great directors who Dominik should show some respect too.

They're actually interesting in filmmaking as a craft and understand how to use the medium to convey things in an interesting way. There's nothing interesting about Blonde. It's vulgarity and shocking stuff for the sake of being shocking.


Are you referring to his use of the word 'whore'? I can't remember the film well enough to say whether the women in this film were whores or not, but there definitely are two things to mind here. The first is obvious. And I already forgot the second.
Yes, describing that film as a film about well dressed whores is misogynistic and also false, he obviously misses the point of the movie and just sees the women as objects.

I think it's one thing you may deduce from these interviews and the movie. Another is that he doesn't give a hoot about making a film to please the audience or the contemporary political climate.
So? People can still have opinions and think the movie is terrible. Just because he doesn't care doesn't mean that people shouldn't criticise it.

Dominik for sure takes artistic liberties, crafting a highly visual portrait based on Monroe as a myth more than Monroe as a person. His approach is not unlike the direction of an exploitation cinema crafter. It's undeniable he exploits Monroe's image. Does he exploit Monroe, too? You could definitely say that. Dominik's portrayal of Monroe is indeed not fit for contemporary PC times when women tend to be strong and liberated. Blonde paints the portrait of a mentally unstable person who copes with her own traumas. Is it immoral to make it a film on Monroe, specifically, and not on some random Monroe lookalike? Maybe. But it's Monroe that's the icon. It's Monroe's myth. By now, it's a separate entity from the actual Monroe person. I think Dominik made a film he wanted to make, and people are angry about everything the film isn't. Like, it's a movie based on a fictional book. You can't criticize Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ for not being true to the Bible. Because this film is not based on the Bible but on Nikos Kazantzakis' novel.
He can make whatever movie he wants but you can't just dismiss all criticism because you think people are unhappy they didn't get the movie they want or because it's non-PC. That's nonsense. I've yet to hear from people why this film is actually good, and people are just defending it on some sort of free-speech/artistic freedom grounds.

If he didn't speak about the real life Monroe in such a degrading, disrespectful way then perhaps I wouldn't feel so strongly. I don't care if Dominik's depiction of Monroe is truthful o not, I care that he just seems to have made a three hour long film full of suffering for no reason other than to please his own desires.



That's not my issue. If he wants it to be miserable he can, but as a filmmaker there's nothing good or interesting about it. Why is it good just because he wants to make a miserable film and succeeded? That's a low barometer for what makes a good film.
This might be a low standard but it's not like anybody expects an all-time masterpiece going into Blonde. I think the film sets out to be a somewhat low-key mosaic of a miserable person in a miserable world. While not groundbreaking, Blonde delivers on that.
For the record I also think Nymphomaniac was terrible. There are plenty of films about suffering and exploitation that I love. I think Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me is a masterpiece about abuse.
If you told me Blonde was directed by von Trier, I would've believed you. So, I'm not surprised you didn't enjoy either of them. I'd say both are similarly troll-y but in a way that comes off as a sincere effort. Still, Blonde is sincere in its insincerity.

This bloke is a film director and says that people don't watch her films. He's like a teenager who's just discovered films and has just watched the classics he's supposed to. Monroe worked with Huston, Wilder and Hawks multiple times and they're all great directors who Dominik should show some respect too.
You don't have to convince me. And I don't think anything you say will convince Andrew Dominik (considering he ever sees what you wrote). I think here's the point where you have to discern between the filmmaker's words and his work, though it may be hard to. Many people already dismissed the movie before even seeing it based on the bad rep it was getting and the gossip. While sometimes inevitable, I do believe we have to strive for an unmuddled look at a work of art.

It's vulgarity and shocking stuff for the sake of being shocking.
Which is the definition of exploitation cinema. You can discard it as that. But if anything, the interview with the director should give you an idea that maybe the guy, after all, doesn't really know what he is doing. Which would undeniably be a much greater crime than misogyny he's accused of.

Yes, describing that film as a film about well dressed whores is misogynistic and also false, he obviously misses the point of the movie and just sees the women as objects.
Looking back at my notes, I found the film, and especially Monroe's character, annoying. Again, I can't comment on the whore thing because I hardly remember the film. But still, 'he sees the women as objects' is a far-reaching criticism.

So? People can still have opinions and think the movie is terrible. Just because he doesn't care doesn't mean that people shouldn't criticise it.
Sure. My take was that many people criticize it because it is not a film that pleases the audiences and a film that certainly doesn't abide by feminist views on Marylin Monroe. So, it is not a film that meets many people's expectations. Even with herd mentality aside, Dominik was bound to get a lot of criticism.

He can make whatever movie he wants but you can't just dismiss all criticism because you think people are unhappy they didn't get the movie they want or because it's non-PC. That's nonsense. I've yet to hear from people why this film is actually good, and people are just defending it on some sort of free-speech/artistic freedom grounds.
It's an engaging, hypnotizing, well-made, and (gasp) highly watchable mainstream film that isn't really that good in general, but is quite good compared to most of the stuff that comes out nowadays. For one, the recreation of the feel and look of Monroe's famous pictures and film scenes is on point. Also, it's a relief to watch a good-looking contemporary film. And so on.

If he didn't speak about the real life Monroe in such a degrading, disrespectful way then perhaps I wouldn't feel so strongly. I don't care if Dominik's depiction of Monroe is truthful o not, I care that he just seems to have made a three hour long film full of suffering for no reason other than to please his own desires.
Fine with me. The final result is a good film. But I don't mind misery porn, exploitation, etc. etc.



"Blonde is best understood as a horror film
I'll give Kermode a listen later but yes, it is like a horror film. It's not surprising to me that Dominik has both Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive in his top ten. I kept thinking back to the startling images of Isabella Rossellini naked when I was watching Blonde. As I've previously mentioned, one of my favourite horror films that is grim and deals with abuse is Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

I do actually find it interesting that Dominik in his interview talks about how the fact that no matter what happiness she had and positives she enjoyed in her life, the inescapable reality is that the hardship and suffering she endured brought about her demise but I don't feel that was communicated in the film. If it was I might have found it interesting, instead it seemed gratuitous and exploitative as you do acknowledge @Mr Minio. I don't have issues with exploitation films per se but when you pick such a famous figure you are inevitably going to be asked why, and judged within the context of who she really was.

The Assassination of Jesse James is a bleak film with beautiful imagery but I felt it had a lot to say about relationship dynamics, abuse, idolisation etc. - pretty similar stuff, but in a much more engaging way.

Oh, and I agree with you too Minio about her acting. I love Ana de Armas but I'm not getting all the praise for this one. Her accent sounded Hispanic and the way she spoke was very one-tone and cutesy.

I also agree that I love how he recreated some of the old film sets and that. I loved the stuff on the Some Like It Hot set with her interacting with Tony Curtis.