BLONDE – Review by T.J. Callahan

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Blonde: “She’s not a well girl.”

No amount of bleach can clean up the tarnished life of Marilyn Monroe in Blonde. This purely
factionalized film, based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name, is totally
depressing. Monroe’s life is portrayed as a train wreck and you can’t take your eyes off of it.

Give most of the credit to Cuban beauty Ana de Armas. Her portrait of the platinum bombshell is
nothing short of mesmerizing. De Armas worked overtime to erase her Latina accent and
breathe life into the breathless beauty with Daddy issues.

Blonde spends most of its almost three hour run time on Monroe’s rise to Hollywood icon status.
Leaving Norma Jean and her dream of a family behind in hopes of pleasing the men who
controlled her. It was a time when women were broads and men were dogs. Gentlemen
definitely preferred blondes. Sexual harassment was rampant and director, Andrew Dominik
straddled the boarder of indecency just enough to get this blurred line bio pic an NC 17 rating.
His choice of creepily creative camera angles, nudity and commentary on today’s hot button
issues all add to the exploitation of a damaged soul.

Speaking of nudity, viewers become voyeurs as De Armas is topless…a lot, and she always
looks perfect. At least 20 years go by and Monroe never ages. The mentally unbalanced often
sad siren needed help to be emotionally buoyant, but physically she was always perky.

With Elvis and now Blonde, 2022 is turning into the year of the rise and fall of the scarred
superstar on celluloid. While the King’s big screen adaption was flashy and rather family friendly,
heed Blonde’s rating and don’t let your kids near this film. Even though what’s depicted may not
be true, it can be too disturbing for a young audience…or a mature one. Still, I couldn’t turn
away. My husband, Ricky, even stayed awake throughout the entire movie. He did ask “ how
much longer” a couple of times though.

Blonde is in select theaters across the US and will stream on Netflix beginning September 28th.
There’s definitely No Business Like Show Business. I give it a 6.

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T. J. Callahan

Longtime Houston radio personality, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for The Sam Malone Show on AM 1070 The Answer in Houston. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and streaming on Radio Brave. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her live every Thursday morning at 9:20 central on KNTH. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association, the Houston Film Critics Society and a board member and 2017 inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.