Blonde ★★★★

there’s a moment in the first act where Marilyn is auditioning for Don’t Bother to Knock shot in 1.37 black and white on a close up of her face and it offers a parallel to The Passion of Joan of Arc that is befitting of a movie that is seemingly hellbent on putting Marilyn on trial for 166 minutes (52 minutes longer than Dreyer bestowed upon Joan of Arc, for those keeping count) — ultimately, this is a tried and true (and expensive) exploitation movie, the likes of which were being exhibited clandestinely while Marilyn’s name was adorning marquees, yet (despite its headline grabbing NC-17 rating and an elliptical scene of group sex early on) this is decidedly anti-erotic, more concerned with Marilyn’s body (mentally, physically and biologically) than any of its actions on or off camera; a pretty perfect companion, and contrast, to Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis

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