A slow, stripped-down version of a song we all know, a woman looking at herself crying in a mirror, not enough footage to know if it’ll be good or bad — yeah, I’m thinking the teaser trailer hour is upon us.
This fall, Ana de Armas IS blonde — sorry, I mean — Ana de Armas is in Blonde, Andrew Dominik’s long-awaited adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Have you ever seen the words “JOYCE CAROL OATES” in big letters in a teaser trailer before? Well, now you have.
Dominik, who is probably best known for his moody, “I’m always mad at my one friend” western The Assassination by Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and grim, talk radio-endorsing Killing Them Softly, promised the film “uses all the imagery that you have seen of Marilyn Monroe, the films, and photographs of her life. But it changes the meaning of all those things in accordance with her internal drama.” Okay, so words can mean anything! Blonde is also, somewhat notably, rated NC-17, which means that while we are watching the imagery of Marilyn Monroe with changed meaning in accordance with her internal drama, we’ll also be seeing some graphic fucking. That is a new take. Dominik also said that Blonde is like Citizen Kane and Raging Bull had a baby daughter, and we all know exactly what he means when he says that.
But what of Ana de Armas, who recently learned of her most loyal Twitter account, and her impression of Monroe? I’ll be honest: I’ve listened to what little dialogue there is in the trailer a good fourteen times, and she’s not doing the voice but she’s definitely speaking in a voice. Does it matter? She’s got the I, Tonya shot: suffering then smiling then suffering all the while. The Marilyn Monroe industrial complex, long fueled by the notion that it is crazy and interesting and unbearably tragic that a hot woman suffered, does not need accuracy to keep chugging along. It’s never needed accuracy to keep chugging along. Monroe has become a matryoshka of impressions: why not let de Armas take a de shot at it?
Blonde, in all its desaturated Mank-ified glory, is due out on Netflix this fall, after a possible premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Perk up, Marilyn, there’s a lot to look forward to. Maybe Ana de Armas will glide in on one of those cool boats.