A Review of “Blonde”

The controversial Netflix feature inspired by the life of Marilyn Monroe is being admonished for its liberties and dark themes. However, neither the film nor the novel that preceded it were marketed as fact-based.

Joel Eisenberg


“Blonde” Movie Poster — Netflix

“Blonde,” the second feature film based on Joyce Carol Oates’ 2000 bestselling novel, is presently streaming on Netflix and has caused waves of consternation since its release.

For information on the first version, a two-part 2001 CBS miniseries starring Poppy Montgomery, you can find TV Insider’s piece here.

This review, however, will focus on the controversial Netflix iteration.

My response follows:

Marilyn Monroe was a creation, a persona.

A myth.

Norma Jeane Mortenson was a troubled human being, from most accounts, who inhabited the role and, according to many on record who claim to have known her, suffered greatly while doing so.

The film is a work of fiction inspired by fact and makes no claim to be a true story.

Does that excuse anything, though? Read on; after all the novel — which I’ve read — made metaphor of the Monroe myth and was not as controversial as the current Netflix film based on it.

Troubling, yes, and it certainly had its vocal detractors, but the subsequent polarization was nothing like the new adapataion.

Decades after her passing, the human being who portrayed Marilyn Monroe is still the sexual ideal of many, and one of the world’s most glamorous-ever movie stars. When she was alive, the casting couch was in regular use; the truth of whether she was victimized in that regard, in life, may be lost to history. I wouldn’t doubt it, but I don’t know. Reports vary.

Other reports are she was never involved in the threesome as portrayed in the film. I wouldn’t doubt that either, but I don’t know.

I never had the opportunity to ask who she slept with as she died before I was born.

Years ago, I loathed Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ,” which I considered the equivalent of three hours of…



Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.