VENICE, Italy — The 79th edition of the Venice International Film Festival is starting to wind down, but they’ve saved one of the most anticipated films of the slate for last. “Blonde,” Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe film starring Ana de Armas, is having its world premiere Thursday night in competition.
The nearly three-hour epic is based on a work of biographical fiction by Joyce Carol Oates and examines the public and private life of the Hollywood icon from her troubled childhood as Norma Jeane to her global stardom as Marilyn Monroe. De Armas, who was born in Cuba, worked with a dialect coach for a year to prepare.
“Blonde” also stars Adrien Brody as Arthur Miller, and Bobby Cannavale as Joe DiMaggio. The Netflix film, produced by Brad Pitt’s company Plan B, is the first movie ever made by the streamer to be rated NC-17 by the Motion Picture Association, meaning no one under the age of 17 is allowed to see the film in a theater.
The film will be playing in select theaters starting Sept. 16 before becoming available on Netflix on Sept. 23. It’s one of many Oscar hopefuls launching in Venice, where it is also among the films up for the festival’s awards on Sept. 10.