Ana de Armas electrified the Mostra on Thursday as Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde”, a biopic event on the biggest star in the history of cinema, who offers herself an obvious ticket for the prize list.
In 02:45, the film blows away the glitter that has always surrounded the icon of popular culture, who died at the age of 36, to offer a nightmarish portrait of an artist crushed by the macho system in force in Hollywood, and beyond in the world. America of the Kennedy Years.
President JFK himself, with whom the actress had an affair shortly before his death sixty years ago, falls from his pedestal. He is depicted as a quasi-sexual predator in search of fresh flesh, in one of the strongest scenes of the film, where Marilyn is forced to perform oral sex on him while he is on the phone.
The scene is like the film, where Norma Jeane (her civil name) appears as a fragile woman, abused by the men in her life, including her ex-husbands, baseball star Joe DiMaggio ( Bobby Cannavale) who beat her and playwright Arthur Miller (Adrien Brody) who seems to despise her.
On the psychological side, the film evokes childhood shattered by a violent mother, the father’s never-resolved quest and an ambivalent desire for thwarted motherhood.
At the risk of almost ignoring Marilyn’s hard work, or her iron will, more present in the fictional and documented biography of Joyce Carol Oates, from which the film is taken.
– Birth of an actress –
“Blonde” marks in any case the birth of an actress, the Cuban Ana de Armas, 34, on the upward slope since her arrival 15 years ago in the United States and who finds in this film the role of her life. .
“If we put aside the star, she was a woman like me, of the same age, also an actress in the industry” of the cinema, declared Ana de Armas in Venice.
“I had to look in places of myself that I knew were uncomfortable, dark and vulnerable, and that’s where I found the connection with this person” of Marilyn, added the actress, who s is extensively documented and worked on his diction for several months to erase his accent and get closer to that of the star.
During filming, “she was everything I thought about, everything I dreamed about, everything I could talk about, she was with me and it was beautiful”.
The concern for realism was pushed so far as to shoot in the very house where Norma Jeane grew up, before the orphanage, and in the one where her body was found. The film does not aim to clarify the circumstances of his death.
“His ashes are everywhere in Los Angeles”, testified on the Lido the director, Andrew Dominik (“The assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford” (2007) with Brad Pitt), who worked for ten years on the film, wiping out numerous rejections before a producer, Netflix, agrees to open its wallet for this ambitious project.
The film, with a virtuoso production, alternating black and white and color, multiplies the allusions to many famous shots to faithfully recreate the universe of Marilyn Monroe.
Added to this is an impeccable soundtrack, entrusted to rockers Warren Ellis and Nick Cave, relatives of the director to whom he has already devoted documentaries.
A sound and visual universe which will however remain reserved for a privileged few: screened at a gala session in Venice, where it competes for the Golden Lion, the film will not then go through the cinema box for the general public.
Netflix, which produced it, will release it directly to its 220 million subscribers on September 28. Its reception is a test for the platform and for the Mostra, which, unlike Cannes, opens its doors wide to films that will not be released in traditional theaters.