The trailer and first look images for Andrew Dominik’s Blonde are finally here, and Ana de Armas absolutely shines as Marilyn Monroe.
She also pulls at the emotions and heartstrings of anyone who’s ever felt like they had to “fake it to make it.” At the heart of the story is a woman torn between two halves of herself, and the NC-17 rating for Blonde means that fans are in for a polarizing watch when the film hits Netflix this fall.
The synopsis for Blonde reads as follows:
“Blonde boldly reimagines the life of one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons, Marilyn Monroe. From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, Blonde blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.”
The first trailer for the film premiered this morning, and it’s a stark look at the emotional turmoil fans will see Monroe experience as the story is told. As both the apple of everyone’s eye and the shell of her former self, Monroe had to navigate life as two versions of herself, and the more Marilyn grew, the less Norma seemed to exist.
The rating has certainly made fans wonder just how much of her life will be shown and how much of the story will be accurate. Blonde is based upon the novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates. Oates has shared that the book is “not a biography,” and shouldn’t be read as such. Fans going into Blonde should view it with that same idea in mind.
Some fans are excited about the NC-17 rating, given the likely reason it’s rated as such — sexual content.
Others are a bit nervous about what that means. Monroe was a sex symbol, that’s not a fact that’s ever been argued, but it wasn’t all glamour and glitz for the icon. Pieces of her life were painful, hard to imagine, and heartbreaking.
This fan doesn’t specifically state which scene it is but says they believe they know why the film is getting an NC-17 rating after reading the book.
Dominik spoke with Vulture in May and said that there’s something in it to really offend everyone, and that’s not something he’s tried to shy away from — in fact, it’s something of a focal point.
“It’s an interesting time for Blonde to come out. If it had come out a few years ago, it would have come out right when Me Too hit and it would have been an expression of all that stuff. We’re in a time now, I think, where people are really uncertain about where any lines are. It’s a film that definitely has a morality about it. But it swims in very ambiguous waters because I don’t think it will be as cut-and-dried as people want to see it. There’s something in it to offend everyone.”
This fan is grateful for the rating because they say the stigma around NC-17 films must be dropped.
Monroe’s life and death continue to be glamourized as part of a Hollywood story, an almost larger-than-life persona. Still, it’s important to remember the human — the woman at the center of the flashing lights and iconic laugh.
Blonde hits Netflix in September.