Well, the Marilyn movie we’ve all been dreading is finally here… Blonde.
It premiered yesterday on Netflix and I sat down to watch it last night and I can tell you, I went in wary. With the subject matter having been talked to death online, to say I was against this movie before it came out, is an understatement. However, I thought my biggest issue with it would be some of its scenes. You know the ones I mean, the shocking ones, the ones that I know not to be true. That hasn’t turned out to the be case. My biggest issue with this movie is that it’s not the Marilyn I know up there.
A Malignant Marilyn Movie
I’m sure you’ve all read about the different, terribly maligning scenes in this movie, so you don’t need me to list them out. However, there’s a couple of things I just want to be sure I’ve gotten across through this review – Gladys did not physically abuse her child. Marilyn was never involved in any threesome with two men. Marilyn did not sleep her way “to the top” in her career. We do not know of any abortions, ever and Marilyn never overdosed on a plane.
Misogynist Against Marilyn Loves Misery
This movie may be semi-biographical, but nothing I saw in it resembled any of the woman I have come to know and love. Andrew Dominik was quoted a couple of times over the past few weeks passing comment about Marilyn. He’s said things like “Any person that’s killing themselves is not a figure of female empowerment. As much as we want to reinvent Marilyn Monroe as the female du jour, I don’t think that that’s responsible,” and “Does anyone watch Marilyn Monroe movies?”
This attitude screams to me that not only does he not know Marilyn, but he doesn’t like or respect her either. His movie is the ultimate demonstration of that. He portrays Marilyn as a snivelling shell of a person and a victim of every single person she comes into contact with. I don’t think I can recall a scene that Ana de Armas isn’t crying in! There’s none of the sassiness or wit we know Marilyn had in spades. Just misery.
The Real Marilyn
There was nothing of the woman who overcame. No sign of how she fought the studio, constantly strove to be better, studied Freud, read James Joyce, wrote poetry or of her artistic flair with painting / drawing. Nothing of the woman who worked hard to improve herself as an actress. To be more than just the girl with the wiggle.
Marilyn was flawed, but she was also kind and thoughtful, warm and loving. She supported civil rights, stood against the “wolves” of Hollywood and spoke out about abuse she’d suffered as a child, at a time when it was unheard of to do so. Marilyn loved animals, once bringing a cow into her kitchen to keep it out of the rain, another time paying some boys to release pigeons they were catching in a park. None of this was evident.
There was no humanity. No empathy. Zero personality. No life.
Andrew Dominik took everything human about Marilyn and reduced it till there was nothing left. When I talk to people about Marilyn they tell me how they identify with her – there was nothing for people to identify with. There was nothing of the Marilyn I know in this movie.
Years ago I watched a movie called ‘Wonder Boys’ starring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire. I was surprised to find a Marilyn link. One of the characters owns the jacket Marilyn wore when she married Joe DiMaggio. Maguire’s character steals this jacket and his takeaway is “She had small shoulders. People forget that.”
She’s a real, live person to him.
At no point in this movie did I think Andrew Dominik viewed Marilyn as a person. A human being. She is a means to an end for him. Something for him to use, as so many have done before him, in his pursuit of a misogynistic revenge for… I don’t know what.
Find Out More
If you want to know more about who Marilyn really was, read any Marilyn book by Michelle Morgan, visit the sites Classic Blondes or Our Marilyn Monroe, go to the Instagram pages of @silvertechnicolor, @classichollywoodwomen or @marilynmonroecollection.
Quotes About the Movie
“This movie is the assassination of an icon”Suzie Kennedy
It’s just exploitative nothingness that relies on tits and ass to generate publicity instead of a well-written script.April Chambers – Classic Blondes