Blonde hairNetflix’s highly anticipated faux-biopic about Marilyn Monroe, received early reviews when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
We had to wait, wait and wait again to finally see Andrew Dominik return to fiction cinema. His previous film, Cogan: Killing Them Softly was released in 2012 and since the gentleman has only made a brief stint on the small screen for the series mindhunter and unveiled a double documentary on Nick Cave. In truth, for 10 years, the filmmaker has above all worked hard to materialize his adaptation of Blonde hair, the faux-biopic of Marilyn Monroe written by Joyce Carol Oates.
After funding problems, casting changes… everything accelerated in 2016 when Netflix announced that it had bought the film’s distribution rights. Despite everything, between rumors of censorship of Netflix because of shocking scenes and a ban on Blonde hair to miners, the road has been long and tortuous. Fortunately, eventually Blonde hair, led by Ana de Armas in the skin of the icon, will finally land on the platform at N rouge. While it could not land in Cannes because of festival regulations, the feature film was presented in competition at the Venice Film Festival 2022. And inevitably, the first reviews have fallen. Newspaper.
“Seductive and kaleidoscopic, Blonde explores all the complexity of Marilyn Monroe as well as that of the ecosystem in which she and we evolve.” Jane Crowther- Total Movie
“Blonde is gorgeous, mesmerizing and, at the same time, deeply moving. But it’s also a work about alienation – within its very conception – which constantly turns the camera towards the viewer, while Marilyn is addressing him. It’s hard to sell such a non-linear and elliptical film.” Bilge Ebiri – vulnerability
“The film brings us far closer to Marilyn than Elvis did to Elvis, largely because it’s built around Ana de Armas’ jaw-dropping performance of an imagination, candor and melancholy breathtaking.” Owen Gleiberman – variety
“Ana de Armas’ dazzling presence is indisputable. But with such a rambling gaze from her director and such a messy script, Ana de Mars simply does her best to deal with the chaotic world of Marilyn Monroe and also deal with the chaos of the film itself. .” Lex Briscuso – Slash Movie
“It is a pitiless, nauseating and cruel work. The film is totally hopeless. […] yet the director’s overall vision is compelling and expressed with such visual skill that major plot twists hit us head-on.” Jack King- The Playlist
“The film gives us little to see of Marilyn’s work or her environment. It’s more or less pain, all the time. But by emphasizing it, de Armas absolutely fulfills its role and manages to manufacture an impressive and terrifying image of the madness of glory.” Richard Lawson – Vanity Fair
“For all the freedom the film had to reimagine the actress’s life and save her from her persecution, Blonde is too busy throwing her into her sea of angst and watching her sink.” Phil de Semlyen – Time Out
“There’s a very fine line between portraying how Marilyn Monroe was underestimated and joining what we’re trying to show. Blonde doesn’t always end up on the right side of the line, but still puts on an impressive visual spectacle. […] Dominik chooses to show us the actress as gorgeous all the time, no matter how alienated or tormented her alter ego Norma Jeane is. More interested in the surface than in the inner life of his characters, Blonde is superficial.“ Catherine Bray- Empire
“It’s a portrait of Marilyn Monroe that accentuates her suffering and anguish by canonizing her as a feminist saint who died for our scopophilic sins. [le plaisir qu’on prend regarder des images-chocs, ndlr], and so that we can revel in her beauty and talent. It’s not really an opera, but rather a sort of modern-day religious ritual, following Monroe’s Stations of the Cross. Marilyn’s Passion.” Leslie Felperin- The Guardian
“The tragedy of a woman admired across the world, devoured by Hollywood and ultimately abandoned to her own despair in an ordinary little house in Brentwood thrills, for we all know Marilyn’s unhappy story. But it’s hard to not to feel a certain uneasiness seeing Dominik enjoying this sordid spectacle. Ana de Armas, however, gives herself up completely to soak up the pain of her character. She deserved better.” David Rooney – The Hollywood Reporter
First opinions rather divided if one can say. It is obviously not a surprise as the film is described as unforgiving, sensory and quite experimental by these early returns. Only one element does not seem to divide the various critics: the performance of Ana de Armas in the skin of Marilyn Monroe. While the Cuban-Spanish comedian received some silly criticism when the trailer was released regarding her accent, it doesn’t seem to have bothered the multiple critics who discovered the feature film. In addition, the young actress was very moved during the Venetian press conference, explaining that this role had “changed her life”.
To find out if you will be part of the camp of the conquered / subjugated or the disappointed / exasperated, you will not have to wait much longer. Blonde hair will be available on Netflix from September 28, 2022.
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Blonde: the first opinions of the sulphurous fake-biopic Netflix on Marilyn Monroe are here