One of the most controversial films released this year is Blonde , which stars Ana De Armas in the role of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. While the film is based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, it cannot technically be considered a biopic since it is not based on the actual life of the star but rather on a fictionalized novel written on her life by author Joyce Carol Oates. The novel is also called Blonde and it paints a rather fantasized picture of Monroe’s life by mixing fact into fiction and hence it cannot really be considered a true account and this is exactly where the issues of critics arise with both the book and its film adaptation.
Critics say that Blonde creates a very one-dimensional picture of Marilyn’s life and constantly forces her into a state of victimization. This is upsetting since this portrays Marilyn as nothing more than the sum of her traumas and her poor relationships with powerful men which is in very poor taste given that the Hollywood icon was so much more than that.
However, despite the poor reviews for the movie, critics have praise the performance of Ana De Armas. When Ana was first cast for the role the news was met with skepticism but it seems her performance has won audiences and critics over.
Now, the writer of the source material for the film, Joyce Carol Oates has come forward in support of the film via Twitter.
She wrote in response to a twitter user asking her for a review of the film, “I think it was/is a brilliant work of cinematic art obviously not for everyone. surprising that in a post#MeToo era the stark exposure of sexual predation in Hollywood has been interpreted as “exploitation.” surely Andrew Dominik meant to tell Norma Jeane’s story sincerely.”
Will the author’s approval of the film sway the minds of the audiences away from the words of the critics? Only time will tell.