Blonde director Andrew Dominik offers a response to the backlash to Marilyn Monroe’s film. Rather than being yet another biopic about the life of icon Marilyn Monroe (aka Norma Jeane Mortensen), Blonde is based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, which presents a fictionalized version of the Monroe story. Before its launch, Blonde was already generating controversy due to its NC-17 rating and star Ana de Armas’ accent, which some felt did not match Monroe’s. As soon as it premiered on Netflix, Blonde it became the subject of criticism from many, with critics taking issue with the film’s lengthy length, Monroe’s indulgent and exploitative portrayal, and hollow repetitive nature.
During a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Dominik opened up about the backlash the film has received since its release, stating that it’s impossible for his film to explore Monroe. “because she is dead🇧🇷 The director expressed feeling “very satisfied” This one Blonde “outraged so many people” because he believes that American films are becoming “more conservative” comparing them to bedtime stories. Dominick continued by saying “I don’t want to make bedtime stories.” through explaining his vision for the controversial film. See below what the director had to say about the matter:
“We are now living in an era where it’s important to present women as empowered, and they want to reinvent Marilyn Monroe as an empowered woman. This is what they want to see. … Which is kind of weird, because she’s dead. The film makes no difference one way or the other. What they really mean is that the movie explored her memory, her image, which is fair enough. But that’s the idea of the film. It’s trying to take the iconography of her life and put it in the service of something else, it’s trying to take things that you’re familiar with and turn the meaning inside out. But that’s what they don’t want to see.”
Why Dominik’s Answer Misses the Point of Blonde Critics
Dominik’s insinuation that Monroe was not a “empowered woman” as well as his insensitivity when talking about the use of “iconography” of a celebrity who passed away to achieve a specific artistic vision, prove that the director does not truly understand the root reaction to the Blonde🇧🇷 or that he might not care. While the freedoms that Blonde taken with reality due to the film adapting the fictional novel rather than remaining a biopic, Monroe’s film’s simplification of the novel into a hollow, one-dimensional vehicle for a message is worth criticizing. Dominik’s dismissal of these valid criticisms shows that he, as Blonde itself, is more interested in the idea of Monroe than engaging with her humanity.
not every aspect of Blonde was divisive, with Guns’ portrayal of the star becoming one of the most praised aspects of the film. Critics have pointed to De Armas’s ability to hone Monroe’s emotional truth and bring life and empathy to the many empty moments and situations Monroe is forced into throughout the film. In de Armas’ earlier comments on Blonde, she expressed disgust at the idea of her nude scenes in the film going viral, signaling her desire to preserve Monroe’s memory rather than reduce it to an idea.
To the credit of Dominik, the acclaimed and progressive author of Blonde highly praised the film adaptation🇧🇷 calling “a brilliant work of cinematic art.” Furthermore, controversy is not an inherent sign that a work is problematic and is often, as Dominik points out, a sign that the art is having its intended effect and being talked about. However, intent is everything, especially when it comes to exploiting the story of a real person, living or dead, for one’s own gain, and Dominik’s response to the backlash. Blonde generated indicates that he is unwilling to engage with criticism on a significant level.