Some critics prefer “Blonde”.
The reimagined Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde, starring Ana de Armas, premiered Thursday at the Venice Film Festival and was hailed by several critics for its portrayal of the blonde bombshell of the 1950s.
The film, based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the same name, runs for nearly three hours and received 14 minutes of a standing ovation from the crowd, which Variety said caused de Armas to burst into tears.
“Andrew Dominik’s Venice Film Festival competition entry ‘Blonde’ takes a blowtorch on the whole concept of the Hollywood biopic and arrives at something almost unprecedented,” said Deadline’s critic.
“[‘Blonde’] simply invents new indignities to make the most positive, constantly haunted heroine outside of a John Waters film ever suffer.”
As Netflix’s first film to be rated NC-17, “Blonde” drew backlash almost immediately when the first trailer was released in July about casting de Armas, since she’s Cuban and her accent wasn’t “authentic.”
Variety’s critic Owen Gleiberman disagreed in his review, saying the film was “built around a performance by Ana de Armas, of breathtaking shimmer and fantasy, of openness and heartbreak. It’s a delicious piece of acting with a raw scream inside.”
“No living actress will look quite like Monroe (de Armas’ eyes are a dead ringer; her smile is a little less mature and more knowing), but with Marilyn, voice is everything — that’s where her personality lives — and de Armas nails it it to an uncanny extent,” he added.
“In ‘Blonde’ she gives us nothing less than what we came for. She’s going to be Marilyn Monroe.”
Despite the widespread praise, some reviewers felt that “Blonde” robs Monroe of her own urgency.
“This is a portrait of Monroe that emphasizes her suffering and anguish and canonizes her as a feminist saint who died for our scopophilic sins,” wrote the Guardian.
“The psychological framework is very old-fashioned, Hollywood Freudian, which doesn’t give Monroe much of an impact on her story herself.”
Other critics were simply bored with the subject.
“This is a work of such wild excess and questionable cruelty that one wonders how many more times, and in how many more creative ways, we will torture, humiliate and kill this abused woman,” the Hollywood Reporter said.
However, social media users are divided on what to think about the upcoming film.
“When I see ‘Blonde’ reviews about how this movie is total dogs, I have to grin from ear to ear.” tweeted one user.
“If ‘Blonde’ really is a nearly 3-hour sexual assault showcase (as many early reviews imply) then I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it.” said another.
“Count me as a pro-BLONDE! Any film that makes big swings will stumble a little over 166 minutes, but the underlying project of examining how Hollywood destroys actresses hits hard. Ana de Armas is great,” shouted A user.
“BLOND. Ana de Armas shines in Dominik’s heartbreaking fictional biopic.” tweeted another.
“I made this film to push myself … to get other people to change their minds about me,” de Armas told the AP. “This film changed my life.”
“I wasn’t in the role all the time. But I felt that. I lived that. I felt this heaviness and weight in my shoulders. And I felt this sadness,” she added. “She was all I thought about. She was everything I dreamed of. She was all I talked about… It was beautiful.”
Blonde is currently slated to debut on September 18, 2022 before making its way to Netflix on September 28.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/09/blonde-reviews-critics-say-ana-de-armas-uncanny-as-marilyn-monroe/ Critics say Ana de Armas is ‘creepy’ as Marilyn Monroe