Ahead of its September 28 premiere on Netflix, The New Yorker has published a scathing review of of Andrew Dominik's Marilyn Monroe non-biopic Blonde by film critic Richard Brody, dubbing it The Passion of the Christ for the Hollywood icon and further confirming fans' worst fears about its content.
"The movie is ridiculously vulgar—the story of Monroe as if it were channelled through Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The character endures an overwhelming series of relentless torments that, far from arousing fear and pity, reflect a special kind of directorial sadism."
"Marilyn gets an abortion; this is traumatic, as is a later miscarriage and another, vaguely suggested subsequent abortion. Through all of these episodes, the straining for poignancy and subjectivity is done crudely and callously. A view upward and out, from the point of view of Marilyn's vagina toward the abortionist, evokes Dominik's own violation and misuse of the character's body."
"Other such effects and gimmicks throughout the film trivialize its ostensible import and render its grim torment ridiculous. For instance, when [John F.] Kennedy comes in Marilyn's mouth, the TV in his room shows a clip of a rocket blasting off and shots (seemingly taken from Earth vs. the Flying Saucers) in which alien spacecraft explode against the Washington Monument and the Capitol."
"You've got to hand it to Dominik: he doesn't only outdo the ostensibly crass showmen of classic Hollywood in overt artistic ambition but also in cheap sentiment, brazen tastelessness, and sexual exploitation."
In Andrew Dominik’s movie “Blonde,” Marilyn Monroe “endures an overwhelming series of relentless torments that, far from arousing fear and pity, reflect a special kind of directorial sadism,” @tnyfrontrow writes. https://t.co/xswja3Xrfd— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) September 21, 2022
Blonde currently sits at a score of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 97 reviews.