La Presse at the 79th Venice Film Festival | The tragic story of an icon

Far from the traditional biofilm, blond hair is a nearly three-hour allegory in which the emphasis is more on Norma Jean Baker than on Marilyn Monroe. The positive rumor about the appearance of Ana de Armas is confirmed: the actress threw herself body and soul into it.

Posted at 3:27pm

Marc Andre Lussier

Marc Andre Lussier
The press

The comparison will no doubt seem gross to those who have seen Valérie Lemercier’s film as a nightmare, but there’s a little bit of itA line in this blond hair. No, Ana de Armas didn’t play Norma Jean as a child (baby Norma Jean sleeps in a drawer though!), but the fact is that based on a fictional biography published by Joyce Carol Oates, Andrew Dominik encroaches on the star’s private spheres for several years undocumented by definition. He thus has the necessary space to invent his vision of things without being faithful to reality.


Ana de Armas plays Marilyn Monroe blond haira film directed by Andrew Dominik.

As spencer last year, allegory of Princess Diana, blond hair has nothing of the traditional biofilm, even less of the documentary. That makes it interesting. In doing so, the filmmaker inserts into his fragmentary story, sometimes in color, sometimes in black and white, the most famous episodes from the life of the woman who, 60 years after her death, is still present in the global collective imagination.

Marilyn’s ghost

To the Ghost of Marilyn Monroe, Andrew Dominik (The assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford, kill her gently) even went so far as to shoot many scenes for her feature film in the places where she actually lived, including the house where she spent her troubled childhood.

It’s a bit like chasing your ghost, its dust is all over Los Angeles!

Andrew Dominik, Director of blond hair


Filmmaker Andrew Dominik and Brad Pitt, producer of Blond hair.

One of the main axes of the story is the relationship with motherhood. The first act is dedicated to portraying the abusive relationship her mother (Julianne Nicholson) had with her, blaming her for the reasons for all her misfortunes, including leaving the husband (and father) who didn’t want a child. .

Focusing on the contrast between the admiration Norma Jean will later receive when she becomes Marilyn Monroe and the inner emptiness left by this incurable wound, Andrew Dominik paints a portrait of a woman who is both strong and fragile is and is confronted with her own desire for motherhood. The star is also constantly torn from the image that admirers have of Marilyn Monroe, which in no way corresponds to the true, much darker nature of Norma Jean Baker.

Although the emphasis is more on Norma Jean Baker than Marilyn Monroe, on the woman rather than the superstar, Ana de Armas did not approach the role as a duality, although the two aspects embodied by the same person are well defined .

“I was emotionally connected to both of them at all times,” confided the actress, visibly touched. It wasn’t like I had to play Norma Jean one day and Marilyn the next. My priority was to understand his pain and trauma and show empathy. I knew I had to surrender and go to places that were more uncomfortable, darker, and vulnerable. I didn’t want to protect myself. »

A total dedication

Invited to try it out after seeing it by Andrew Dominik who has been working on this project for over 10 years knock Knock (Eli Roth) Ana de Armas felt that Marilyn Monroe was very close to her, even though she had a superficial image of the star before she landed the role Men prefer blondes.

She was with us, I really believe that. She occupied all my thoughts, all my dreams, she was my only topic of conversation. She was with me and it was beautiful.

Ana de Armas, about Marilyn

“I think she was happy about that. Being in the same places as her, filming in her house gave the very strong impression that something was floating in the air. I think she approved of what we were doing. »

Returning Marilyn her own truth about the inner, tragic drama that eventually overwhelmed her, Ana de Armas plunged body and soul into the character, abandoning the one who, like Marilyn in her day, aspired to the greatest scores.

In the race for the Golden Lion blond hair will be released on September 23 at the Cinéma Moderne and the Cinémathèque québécoise. Netflix will release it on its platform on September 28th.

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