Movie Diary 1/3/2023

Blonde (Andrew Dominik, 2022). The year’s most reviled movie, it seemed, a near-three-hour series of brutalizations enacted upon a somewhat fictionalized Marilyn Monroe. The film is quite interesting to look at, and it has haunting passages, although I confess I’m bewildered by it overall. Ana de Armas is entirely in tune with MM, which goes a long way toward making individual moments come to vivid life. I would not look forward to watching it again.

The Menu (Mark Mylod, 2022). A very amusing idea, skillfully executed. The foodie satire is perhaps a few years too late (I’m nevertheless grateful for the line, “He’s not just a chef, he’s a storyteller”), but the film is very confident in its momentum and doesn’t waste any time with unneeded padding. Or pudding, for that matter. Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, and Hong Chau are just exactly in the spirit of the material, and best of all is Ralph Fiennes, in lovely form as the chef whose island restaurant is the location for this elaborate one-night grande bouffe.

Nanny (Nikyatu Jusu, 2022). In a modern variation on Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl, a young woman from Senegal (Anna Diop) struggles to keep afloat in New York City while tending to the child of a wealthy couple (Michelle Monaghan is especially good as the frazzled mother). The film flirts with horror conventions, occasionally steering into Repulsion territory, but stays within the range of psychological upset. It’s the director’s feature debut, and suggests more intrigue to come. Plus, Leslie Uggams plays a possibly-African-witchcraft-or-something-inflected grandmother, which is a lovely touch.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: