Andrew Dominik’s long-contested adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ biographical fiction novel Blonde finally has its trailer. In it, we observe Ana De Armas’ Marilyn Monroe, panicked, angry and beautiful. She explains how she got her start to Bobby Cannavale’s Joe DiMaggio, telling him “Marilyn doesn’t exist,” and that beyond her dressing room, she’s Norma Jean, a far cry from the Hollywood frills she represents.
“WATCHED BY ALL / SEEN BY NONE” read intertitles. The surveillance component of Monroe’s life is evidently at the forefront of this story, with press crawling like ants along a red carpet, jeering, cameras flashing. What follows is a series of archetypical shots of Monroe: her hot pink gown from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, rouge-lipped photoshoots, a 7 Year Itch sewer grate recreation.
Take a look:
Many have objected to such realism alongside the kind of revisionism which might precipitate an NC-17 rating from Netflix (the first ever!). Others are just generally unenthused by the Norma Jean redux, or thrilled completely.
The voice is awkward, a halfway point between De Armas’ own intonations and Monroe’s breathy cadence. But seeing how uncannily she resembles the late starlet in every movement, one can see why she was plucked for the job. Of course, similitude guarantees nothing and flashy, recognizable shots are just that. Whether this is a film about Monroe or simply the cultural notoriety she inspires, and whether Dominik has actually seen her, we’ll have to wait for the film’s release to know.
Blonde hits Netflix on September 28.