This week saw the release of Blonde, the Netflix drama about Marilyn Monroe, based on the bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates.
The release of Blonde is a stunning example of how actress Ana de Armas uses the diamond archives of Marilyn Monroe to help her step into character. Costume designer Jennifer Johnson looked to the detail of iconic Marilyn diamond moments to create a truly real Monroe experience for the audience and was reportedly helped by Swiss jeweller Chopard, to create some Hollywood scenes.
Be warned though, Blonde is not for the faint-hearted. The film is both evocative and occasionally harrowing, with Netflix recounting the scene of her own near-pedicide, at the hands of her mentally-ill mother.
Blonde reminds its watcher that Marilyn’s pathway to Hollywood was far from smooth; you see her ricocheting from state care to stardom falling prey to MeToo mogul monsters that made most of how she looked and worse still, her vulnerability. The almost rape scene sets a tone of studio bosses of old, but at the same time gives a subtle wink to more recent Weinstein moments…want the role, do as you’re told.
It’s clear she worked an aesthetic that helped her work the room, and helped achieve her film roles, but one wonders whether on screen, we ever saw the best of Norma Jean.
Ana de Armas captures a woman of depth, a tormented multi-faceted character, that longed for love and family and some semblance of normal. Instead her life was mostly surrounded by controlling men, either sexually or violently.
Worth a watch? A tentative yes.
Whilst the storyline is likely gratuitous, for sure the diamonds are real…
Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend
The French are glad to die for love. They delight in fighting duels. But I prefer a man who lives. And gives expensive jewels. A kiss on the hand. May be quite continental. But diamonds are a girl's best friend. A kiss may be grand. But it won't pay the rental. On your humble flat. Or help you at the automat. Men grow cold. As girls grow old. And we all lose our charms in the end. But square-cut or pear-shaped. These rocks don't lose their shape. Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Tiffany’s. Cartier. Black Starr. Frost Gorham. Talk to me, Harry Winston. Tell me all about it. There may come a time. When a lass needs a lawyer. But diamonds are a girl's best friend. There may come a time. When a hard-boiled employer. Thinks you're awful nice. But get that ice or else no dice. He’s your guy. When stocks are high. But beware when they start to descend. It’s then that those louses. Go back to their spouses. Diamonds are a girl's best friend. I’ve heard of affairs. That are strictly platonic. But diamonds are a girl's best friend. And I think affairs. That you must keep liaisonic. Are better bets. If little pets get big baguettes. Time rolls on. And youth is gone. And you can't straighten up when you bend. But stiff back. Or stiff knees. You stand straight at Tiffany’s. Diamonds. Diamonds. I don't mean rhinestones. But diamonds are a girl's best. Best friend………