‘Blonde’ review: Ana de Armas illuminates Marilyn Monroe in bleak, dragging biopic
Marilyn Monroe is one of the most visible celebrities of all time.
Her face is like a platinum blond planet — its gravity continues to draw feverish attention 60 years after her death.
And despite all of Hollywood’s attempts over the years to tell her story, the person behind the shining Marilyn image remains a somewhat unknowable figure.
“Blonde,” debuting Sept. 28 on Netflix and now playing in select theaters, promises a look behind the Marilyn curtain to some essential truth about the actor born Norma Jeane Mortenson, later known as Norma Jeane Baker.
But the film, starring Ana de Armas and written and directed by Andrew Dominik (“Killing Them Softly”), is based on the 2000 novel “Blonde” from Princeton author Joyce Carol Oates,
which is a fictionalized account of Marilyn’s life.
The movie, flitting between black-and-white and color — maps out its version of Norma Jeane by pressing play on famous scenes: Marilyn as a pin-up.
Marilyn with husband Joe DiMaggio. Marilyn with husband Arthur Miller.
Marilyn on the subway grate in “The Seven Year Itch” (1955) — 360 degrees of white skirt blown aloft.
The same outfits, angles and glances captured by flashbulbs and immortalized onscreen.