Andrew Dominik’s Blonde just premiered on Netflix, and reactions from audiences and critics are mixed. Fans already knew the film would be deliberately provocative following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, but nothing could’ve prepared them for the ethereal and masochistic fantasy that Dominik delivered.
Fans on Twitter had a field day with Blonde, with some expressing their awe for Ana de Armas’ performance and others condemning the film as exploitative and insulting to Marilyn Monroe’s memory. However, love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Blonde will be one of the most talked-about films of the year.
It’s Way Too Early For This
Blonde made a name for itself in Venice for its supposedly callous treatment of Marilyn Monroe. Indeed, the film features many fictitious and somewhat reprehensible sequences that paint Monroe in an unflattering and exploitative light.
It didn’t take long for Twitter users to post clips from the film on their profiles following Blonde‘s release on Netflix. Soon, the social network was full of scenes from the movie, delighting some and shocking others. Twitter user @itsaimmedia posted a funny reaction to the overabundance of clips, noting how it was too early to have so many of them, especially when Blonde was just hours into its premiere.
Not Good Or Bad … Unique
Unlike some of the all-time best biopics, Blonde is deeply divisive, and it knows it. It’s trying to provoke audiences, featuring shocking and potentially triggering scenes that desperately want to elicit a reaction from their viewers.
Twitter user @GeorgeAlexClark described the film as “unique,” and he’s not wrong. Blonde is unlike any other biopic in recent memory, and fans looking for a typical, by-the-numbers, Bohemian Rhapsody-style film should avoid it, as it’s anything but. Still, it’ll be up to the audience to determine whether it’s a film with something to say about Marilyn or just another project wanting to exploit her memory.
One of the main complaints regarding Blonde is how reductive and mean-spirited it is toward Marilyn Monroe’s memory. Although infamous for her troubled life, many felt that Marilyn Monroe was a gifted and affecting actress and that her legacy should amount to more than pain and suffering.
However, Domink’s film seems to only care about her trauma, something many fans noted. Twitter user @TheFlemishSeth might’ve hit the bullseye when he called Blonde “aesthetically pleasing” but “unnecessarily mean,” describing it as a “nightmare-wrapped-in-an-ethereal-dream.”
The Real Marilyn Monroe
To Blonde‘s credit, neither it nor the book on which it’s based claim to be an autobiography about Monroe. Instead, both projects make it clear that they are works of pure fiction based on the real-life story of a timeless Hollywood icon.
Twitter user @mildredsfierce disliked the film but hoped it would serve as an excuse for viewers to learn more about Monroe’s real life beyond mainstream conceptions. Multiple biographies exist about Monroe, many of which offer an objective and comprehensive look into her personal life beyond her bombshell persona. Fans left with a bad taste from Blonde might want to check them out.
And The Oscar Goes To…
Blonde might give Ana de Armas her first Oscar nomination. Indeed, if there’s one aspect of the film that critics and fans have continuously praised, it’s de Armas’ committed, heart-wrenching take on Marilyn Monroe. Even the film’s detractors have singled out de Armas as Blonde‘s one saving grace.
Fans on Twitter, like @Nameless4idc, are already lauding de Armas and claiming she deserves the nomination and, arguably, the win. De Armas’ road to Oscar won’t be easy — Blonde might be too divisive for the Academy’s conservative tastes. However, if she does make it into the Top 5, hardly anyone could argue she doesn’t belong there.
The Irony Of It All
No one can deny Andrew Dominik is a great director. Chopper and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford are two of the new millennium’s most insightful and expertly-crafted films. Dominik is a gifted and technically proficient artist, and his talents are on full display in Blonde.
The hilariously named Twitter user @notyourfilmbro points out Domink’s strength as a director but condemns him for using exploitation in a film that’s supposedly a denouncement of said practice. The film’s tagline is “Watched by all, seen by none;” ironically and unfortunately, Blonde adopts the same approach.
How Was This Even Allowed?
Marilyn Monroe had a short but eventful life that took her from obscurity to the apex of celebrity and fame. However, her treatment at the hands of the industry and public, coupled with her issues with addiction and mental health, ultimately pushed her over the edge.
Over the years, the media manipulated and exploited her memory and legacy, and Blonde did its fair share of contributing to the mess. The film even went as far as recreating Marilyn’s death in macabre accuracy, which deeply upset several fans, including Twitter user @criminalplaza.
The Opposite End Of The Spectrum
Blonde is the definition of a divisive movie. It features many sequences that will shock and possibly horrify audiences. However, not everyone hated it. In fact, those who loved it really loved it.
@Louis_deLeon_ called Blonde “masterful” and “must-see,” echoing the sentiments of many others who have praised the film for its bold and uncompromising nature. Dominik’s work is admittedly alienating, but many will still find many things to appreciate in his films. Blonde might not be to everyone’s taste, but more than a few viewers will consider it a masterpiece.Fans like Twitter user
Tough But Unforgettable
It may be hard for some to sit through Blonde; it is not a film to be enjoyed so much as endured. However, some will truly come out of it with a fresh perspective on Marilyn Monroe, especially those who embrace the film as a pure work of fiction based on the life of a larger-than-life icon.
Film critic @thediegoandaluz had nothing but positive things to say about the film, calling it “touch yet truly unforgettable.” This tricky act seemed to be Dominik’s purpose: to craft a heart-wrenching yet ultimately thought-provoking piece of cinema. To his credit, he seems to have succeeded, at least partially.
The Ultimate Clash Of Ideas
At the end of the day, Blonde is a collection of ideas that soar on Ana de Armas’ extraordinary performance but get dragged down by the film’s lack of compassion for its central character. Even its most staunch supporters can’t deny that Dominik doesn’t care about Marilyn, the person, but rather Marilyn, the icon.
Twitter user @KestonTheo said it best, decrying the film for its lack of “sincerity” for Marilyn Monroe. To many, Blonde is cold and calculating, and while it might open a conversation about the exploitation of deceased celebrities, it does it at the expense of a woman who’s already suffered enough abuse in life and death.