‘Blonde’: Ana de Armas Is a Revelation as Marilyn Monroe in This Dark Portrait of Misogyny. Blonde opens with spherical spotlights and flashbulbs violently illuminating Marilyn Monroe (Ana de Armas), along with glimpses of the circuitry and mechanisms within them—an ideal metaphor for this blindingly striking and harrowing biography-cum-myth of victimization and performance. Writer/director Andrew Dominik’s adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ 2000 fictionalization of the iconic actress’ life is a kaleidoscopic movie about dreams and reality, sanity and delusion, the authentic and the phony, the past and the present, and the self and the guises constructed to both mask and convey its true nature. Led by de Armas’ hypnotically soulful evocation of Monroe’s longing and despair, it’s a triumph that strives for truth through florid, glamorous artifice. As such, it’s not only about its subject, but also an expression of her—mind, body, and soul. Blonde is a film about performance and the many ways in which it conceals and reveals. To that end, de Armas’ turn is nothing short of a tour de force. In certain moments, the actress’ embodiment of Monroe is so believable with regard to look, body language and voice (she absolutely nails the star’s breathiness) that one almost gasp.