Blonde Review: 7 Ups & 3 Downs


3. It's Messy & Wildly Overlong

Blonde Ana de Armas

Dominik is trying to cover a lot of ground with this movie, travelling all the way from Marilyn/Norma Jeane's (Ana de Armas) childhood through to her tragically untimely death, and even with a beefy 166-minute runtime, one suspects he ended up leaving a ton of material on the cutting room floor.

This is a long movie that feels long and gruelling, enough that some might wonder why such an inherently episodic piece of work wasn't released on Netflix as a more expanded mini-series instead. But alas, that's not Dominik's vision.

And while there is a heft of compelling dramatic material within Blonde, it also often reeks of filmmaker over-indulgence, given how aggressively Dominik - who also wrote the film - bashes the viewer over the head with the film's fairly straight-forward themes.

Though Dominik's direction is frequently exemplary, there are also moments that feel far too obvious and even ridiculous, such as a thoroughly daft moment at the Some Like It Hot premiere where Marilyn envisions the assembled press as ghoulish humans with digitally elongated mouths.

Elsewhere the camerawork sometimes verges on goofy and even pointlessly invasive - was there really much of an artistic reason to stage several shots from within Monroe's vagina?

The result is a film that sometimes feels like a parody of "arthouse" movies, and while it's laudable that Netflix gave Dominik the rope to make such a singular piece of work, it's also proof that unrestrained artists don't always know when to stop.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.