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Starring: Ana de Armas. Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Caspar Phillipson, Toby Huss, Sara Paxton, David Warshofsky, Evan Williams, Xavier Samuel, Garret Dillahunt, Scoot McNairy
OUR RATING: ★★☆☆☆
Netflix bio-drama written and directed by Andrew Dominik. Blonde (2022) reimagines the complicated life of icon Marilyn Monroe (Ana de Armas). Blurring the lines of fact and fiction, artfully exploring the tension between her public and private life.
Our Favorite Quotes:'In you, the world is born anew, as two. Before you, there was but one.' - Norma Jeane (Blonde) Click To Tweet
Gladys: [to young Norma Jean] Look. Your father. His name is a beautiful name. And an important name. But it’s a name I can’t utter.
Deputy Will Bonnie: Ma’am, go home. Put your little girl to bed, okay? It’s late.
Gladys: Actually, officer, I’d like to see hell close-up. A preview.
Norma Jeane: Because she loved the child, and wished to spare her grief. Because the child was her own secret self, exposed. Because the very father of the child had wished it not to be born. Because he had given her money, scattering bills across the bed. Because he told her he had never loved her. She had misunderstood. Because before the pregnancy, he had loved her. And after, he had not. Because he would have married her. She was certain. Because no one could love a child so accursed.
Gladys: [to young Norma Jean] It’s because of you! You’re the reason he went away! He didn’t want you!
'Where does dreaming end and madness begin?' - Norma Jeane (Blonde) Click To Tweet
Miss Flynn: [dropping Norma Jean off at the orphanage] Your mother is sick. The doctors say that she is very sick. She tried to hurt you. She can’t be a mother to you just now. I can’t be a mother to you just now.
Young Norma Jeane: But I’m not an orphan. I have a mother, and I have a father. I’m not an orphan.
I.E. Shinn: Don’t you see, Norma Jeane? The future is in the palm of your hand.
Norma Jeane: [reading from the script] Imagine, to know every night that differing hundreds of people love you. They want you. You belong. Just that alone is worth anything. You carry it with you wherever you go. The circle of light is yours.
Norma Jeane: I read the script, the whole script. It’s such a strange, disturbing story. This mentally unbalanced woman almost killing a little girl. Like a novel by Dostoyevsky, where you feel sympathy for the criminal and don’t wish to see her punished.
The Director: Oh, you’ve read Dostoyevsky, have you, honey?
'People like that, you can see why they're drawn to acting. Because the actor in her role always knows who she is.' - The Writer (Blonde) Click To Tweet
Norma Jeane: [after her audition] I know I could be Nell. I think I am Nell. She’s a sleepwalker. She doesn’t see him. She sees her dead fiancé. She’s trapped in delusion. But where does dreaming end and madness begin? Anyway, isn’t all love based on delusion?
Assistant to Director: [referring to Marilyn’s audition] That was pretty bad, wasn’t it? Like watching a mental patient maybe. Not acting. No technique.
The Writer: People like that, you can see why they’re drawn to acting. Because the actor in her role always knows who she is.
Norma Jeane: [to Gladys] It’s been so exciting this past year. So wonderful. Like a fairy tale. Sometimes, I can’t believe it. I’m under contract at the studio. Where you used to work. I can make a living just being photographed. I guess there isn’t any Norma Jeane, is there?
Gladys: [to Marilyn] Where’s my daughter? They said my daughter was coming. I don’t know you. Who are you?
'An actress wants to be seen. An actress wants to be loved by a multitude of people.' - Cass Chaplin (Blonde) Click To Tweet
Norma Jeane: [over phone] Mr. Shinn, at the premiere, I shut my eyes a lot. I couldn’t believe that girl was me. But everyone in the audience would think it was me, Nell. And later at the party, Marilyn.
Eddy Robinson Jr.: [referring to Marilyn] She’s a prude. Miss Golden Dreams of all people.
Cass Chaplin: The human body is meant to be seen. Admired and desired. Not hidden away like some ugly festering wound.
Eddy Robinson Jr.: There’s plenty of bodies that should be hidden away. But not yours, Cassie. And not mine. And for sure not our girl Norma’s.
Cass Chaplin: In our household, my father, Chaplin, was all the magic. He drew all the light into himself until there was nothing left inside me but numbness. Like sleep. Only in the mirror could I see myself. Anything I did in the mirror, I could hear waves and waves of applause.
Norma Jeane: She is pretty, I guess. But it isn’t me, is it? How about when people find out?
Eddy Robinson Jr.: Hell, baby, we found out, and we still love you.
Norma Jeane: I just, I wish I could just hide in your arms. Forever and ever in your arms.
Cass Chaplin: But you don’t mean that, Norma. An actress wants to be seen. An actress wants to be loved by a multitude of people.
Norma Jeane: No. What I really want is you.
'Mostly, I want to settle down. Like any girl. And have a family.' - Norma Jeane (Blonde) Click To Tweet
I.E. Shinn: I’m just thinking of your career and your well-being.
Norma Jeane: You’re thinking of Marilyn.
I.E. Shinn: Yes.
Norma Jeane: Her career.
I.E. Shinn: Yes. And her well-being.
Norma Jeane: She doesn’t have any well-being. She’s only a career.
Norma Jeane: [referring to Cass and Eddy] They know I’m Norma. Not Marilyn. They understand me.
I.E. Shinn: I understand you. I invented you.
Cass Chaplin: People think it’s a blessing being Charlie Chaplin’s son. Like it’s a fairy tale, and I’m the king’s son. But we’re cursed, Eddy and me.
Eddy Robinson Jr.: We’re juniors of men who never wanted us.
Norma Jeane: But at least you two have fathers. At least you know who you are.
Cass Chaplin: Oh, we knew who we were before we were born.
Cass Chaplin: You never knew your father. So you’re free. You can invent yourself. I love your name. Marilyn Monroe. It’s so totally phony. I love it. Like you gave birth to yourself.
'It's so scary how a scene with actual people just goes on and on. Like on a bus. What's to stop it? Or how to figure out what people mean when probably they don't mean anything. Not like a script. There's no point.' - Norma Jeane Click To Tweet
Eddy Robinson Jr.: Let’s vow, okay? The three of us. To always love each other like right now. And to die for each other, if needed.
Cass Chaplin: We’re a triangle. A triangle can’t be divided in two, like two can be.
Eddy Robinson Jr.: We’re the Gemini, the three of us. Like twins. But there’s three.
Norma Jeane: [over phone] I’ll get about five thousand dollars, and Jane Russell gets a hundred thousand? And I’m playing the blonde in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? That’s an insult. I’m going to hang up now. Goodbye.
I.E. Shinn: Marilyn, wait.
Norma Jeane: F*** Marilyn. She’s not here.
Norma Jeane: When you had me, Mother, you weren’t married, I guess. You didn’t have a man supporting you. And you had a baby. That was so brave. Another girl would’ve, well, you know, gotten rid of it. Of me. And I wouldn’t be here at all. There wouldn’t be any Marilyn. And she’s getting so famous now. Fan letters, telegrams. Flowers from strangers. But you were brave. You did the right thing. You had your baby. You had me.
Norma Jeane: [referring to having an abortion] Please, I want to go back. Hey, I’ve changed my mind. My mind’s my own to change.
Norma Jeane: [to DiMaggio] It must be awfully strange to be, well, a hero.
'The circle of light is yours. You enclose yourself in the circle. You carry it with you wherever you go.' - Norma Jeane (Blonde) Click To Tweet
Norma Jeane: Oh, they’re awful. The things they make up. I know you’re supposed to get used to it. But I just can’t. It really hurts.
Ex-Athlete: How did you get your start?
Norma Jeane: What start?
Ex-Athlete: In movies. In acting.
Norma Jeane: I don’t know. I guess I was discovered.
Ex-Athlete: I know what it’s like to be lonely. To want a better life. A good, simple life. A decent life.
Norma Jeane: I just want to begin again from zero. I want to live in another world. Away from Hollywood.
'Time is like a fast river running through us.' - Norma Jeane's Father (Blonde) Click To Tweet
Norma Jeane: I want to move to New York. And study acting. Serious acting. In the movies, they chop you all to bits. Cut, cut, cut. It’s a jigsaw puzzle. But you’re not the one to put the pieces together. Oh, but to live in a part. To just be in it till the closing curtain every night.
Norma Jeane: But mostly, I want to settle down. Like any girl. And have a family. Oh, I love children so. I’m crazy about babies.