Styles

Ana de Armas Marilyn, Mastandrea and Orlando in Rome thirsty for Virz: films in cinemas, on Sky, Prime Video, Netflix and other platforms

He said: Your circle of light: and Marilyn takes a seat in the center. The future in your hands. What to add to the epic of the most beloved and unhappy actress of the twentieth century? Andrew Dominik relies on Joyce Carol Oates’ best seller to tell the psychoanalytic travail of unwanted daughter, sex object available, desired siren and shoddy actress, prisoner of an inextinguishable perturbation. Did you take any pills? Are you menstruating ?. The collective dream becomes a blurred image in a film that is so atonal as to be cumbersome.
That said, it seems clear how Blonde be reduced to an exercise in style on devouring Hollywood, the Little Red Riding Hood forest of fire-eating entrepreneurs and the unspeakable duty to pay to get to the top.
Dominik starts in 1933. Los Angeles is the city of sand, fires and hell. Crossing a glossy black and white, Norma Jeane Baker is brought by her unstable mother to meet her father, a face in a painting, a guy who looks like Clark Gable and has always been very far from his family. Mommy dear is the woman who tried to drown Norma Jeane to avoid her pain and because she considered her responsible for her husband’s escape. He ended up in a psychiatric hospital and consequently pushed the little girl to an orphanage. They met again ten years later.
Alternating between registers and visual effects, Dominik talks about Marilyn’s (Ana de Armas) split personality. Hence, the unhappy child. From there, the actress who was looking for an impossible compensation in the constant search for the father figure. She remembers the loves for the baseball champion Joe Di Maggio (Bobby Cannavale) and for the writer Arthur Miller (Adrien Brody), who chose her for the role of Magdastruck by MM’s references to Three sisters by Chekhov. And then the sentimental beginnings with the children of Charlie Chaplin and Edward G. Robinson, the forbidden relationships with John and Bob Kennedy, the disappointments and betrayals, the desire for a quiet life, dedicated to the theater, to children, in New York, the desolate desire for motherhood never fulfilled, the sense of guilt and visits to the mother in the hospital. A harrowing journey, while the probable letters of the father never known, now an elderly heart attacked, open new wounds. Wait for me, my precious daughter.
Trauma upon trauma, the dreamy performer who became the very image of cinema saying I’m not a star, I’m just a blonde, she fears she has inherited her mother’s crowds. You taste success, yes. But this is not enough for her. She compares her cachet to Jane Russell’s monstrous compensation in Men prefer blondes and rebels. He finds a moment of happiness when the applause arrives after the scene of the skirt raised by the snort of the subway in When the wife on vacation. She confesses to being Marilyn’s slave as if she were talking about another person. Show candor, innocence, humility. Can’t resist prejudice and the expectations of others.
Looking for an extreme cut of the images and a pained rhythm to accompany the evolution of the drama, Dominik expresses the fragility of his Marilyn with tears in front of the mirror, sighs, moving hesitations. But everything remains artificial, far away, a fine representation in itself. Cuban Ana de Armas confirms dramatic talent and animus diva, qualities nevertheless worthy, at least for now, of less complex stories.

BLONDE by Andrew Dominik
(Usa, 2022, duration 146 ‘)

with Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Garret Dillahunt, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Sara Paxton, Scott McNairy, Toby Huss
Rating: ** 1/2 out of 5 (considering the ambitions)
On Netflix

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