Marilyn Monroe was one of the most iconic actresses we’ve ever had the pleasure to set eyes on. Joyce Carol Oates wrote the historical fiction novel Blonde to give readers an intimate look at the life of the great screen legend. After getting the chance to see the upcoming Netflix adaptation, Oates recently praised the finished project for one key detail.
Blonde chronicles how the cost of fame led to the blonde bombshell’s brief 36-year-life. Collider spoke to Blonde author Joyce Carol Oates during the Neuchâtel Intl. Fantastic Film Festival in Switzerland that she saw the Netflix adaptation of her novel and what she loved the most about the film.
Capturing Marilyn Monroe’s life on screen can certainly be challenging considering we’re used to getting to know her through an outsider’s perspective like in My Week with Marilyn or through documentaries. Director Andrew Dominik has explained that the deeper meaning behind Blonde is to show how childhood drama can shape an adult. That even though we see Monroe through the imagery we’ve already seen, we get an intimate look at how she went from being shuffled between a dozen different foster parents to “being the most wanted woman in the world” by the masses.
However, Dominik also believes audiences will be offended by the film for not giving a “cut-and-dry” portrayal of The Seven Year Itch actress, and leaving it to be more ambiguous than audiences would want. This tone seems to be fitting for the movie, considering Joyce Carol Oates was interpreting Marilyn Monroe's life when she wrote the book and Andrew Dominik is providing a visual to that interpretation. Only the pop culture icon herself can be the one to talk to about what her life was truly like.
One thing that came as a shock to the AFI Award-winning director was the film’s surprise rating of NC-17. Considering the MPAA gave that adult rating due to “some sexual content,” Dominik is seemingly satisfied with his film’s rating. And I don’t blame him, considering the “some” sexual content is likely only in bits of the movie After all, an NC-17 restrictions on advertisements and can limit the audiences who see the film. While this rating seems like an obstacle for the film getting Oscar attention, maybe it'll end up actually making history in this regard.
Another reason why Oates loved Blonde was for Ana De Armas recreating Marilyn Monroe’s iconic moments. She applauded the dedication De Armas had for the hours of makeup she had to endure to create the image of the Hollywood starlet. Considering this rising star dazzled audiences with her performances in No Time to Die and Knives Out, we can expect a stellar performance as she brings the spectacle of Marilyn Monroe to life.
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Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.