10 films like Blonde you must watch

By Adam Lock
Published: September 30, 2022

This article discusses 10 films like the Netflix film Blonde (2022) you must watch.

Netflix original film Blonde tells a fictionalized account of American icon Marilyn Monroe’s eventful life and career. This highly divisive biopic from director Andrew Dominik has polarized both critics and the public alike. There’s an award-worthy performance from Ana de Armas buried within this artsy, controversial flick, yet many will be put off by the unrelenting adult content that landed Blonde an NC-17 rating for Netflix, the first on a major streaming site. If you have braved the film and want to watch something of a similar ilk or are just looking for recommendations in the same wheelhouse, then here are some picks just for you.

Like For Like – 10 films like Blonde you must watch

Spencer (2021)

Blonde is an unconventional biopic in every sense, with an art-house sensibility that may turn viewers off straightaway. Another director who works within this genre is Pablo Larrain, who is best known for his biographies about powerful, iconic women. He tackled the life of Princess Diana in a unique way, by focusing on the events of Christmas 1991 alone. Like Blonde, Spencer takes liberties with regards its subject matter, but the results are stunning either way. Kristen Stewart is a revelation as the troubled Princess and by dedicating to one small exert of time this allows for some detailed character analysis of a historic figure in the process.

Knives Out (2019)

Ana de Armas is rightfully receiving a hell of a lot of praise for her portrayal of the unhinged starlet and is likely to win multiple awards for her heart-breaking performance. She encapsulates Monroe’s vulnerability and adolescent temperament perfectly, utterly devoting herself to the role. If you are craving more from this fine actress then look no further than Rian Johnson’s whodunit mystery epic Knives Out. Here she plays the lead star Marta Cabrera, a lowly nurse swept up in a murder mystery. It’s one of the best films of that year and one that has two sequels in the pipeline from Netflix.

Chopper (2000)

Most will say that The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is Andrew Dominik’s best film, but I much prefer his debut feature length. Chopper tells the story of Mark Read, an infamous Australian gangster. Eric Bana does an exceptional job playing the deranged yet sociable killer in this grim biopic. If you are a fan of this director’s work and are looking for a brutal companion piece, Chopper is your best bet.

My Week with Marilyn (2011)

Blonde isn’t the first Marilyn Monroe biography and it won’t be the last. If you fancy a more straightforward, safer interpretation then Simon Curtis’ 2011 film may be the one for you. Michelle Williams plays the American actress and model, garnering praise for her uncanny performance and an Oscar nomination too. This is worlds apart from Ana de Armas’ own debauched portrayal of Monroe, but both stand well on their own.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

My favorite film starring Marilyn Monroe is the late fifties romantic comedy from Billy Wilder. In this classic, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon play musicians who disguise themselves as women whilst on the run from hardened criminals. They join a touring band, where they meet singer and ukulele player Sugar Kane, played by Monroe herself. It’s a joyous, hilarious flick that proves the old adage, they don’t make them like they used to.

Jackie (2016)

Another Pablo Larrain film about an influential woman, Jackie stars Natalie Portman as the First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. It’s a brutal, harrowing adaptation of the icon’s life, which mirrors that of Monroe’s own life quite closely. Portman is a triumph in the starring role, in a film which is both beautifully shot and painfully intimate in its portrayal of the historic female. This works as an impressive companion piece to either Blonde or Spencer and is a must watch for film fanatics.

Barton Fink (1991)

Blonde depicts Hollywood as a ruthless and vulgar place. This tinsel town is light years away from the one glorified in musicals or underdog stories of old. Monroe’s own experiences of this bitter sweet industry are aggressively explored in this bleak biography. One of my favorite films about the golden era of Hollywood and the filmmaking business in general though is the Coen brothers’ cult classic Barton Fink. Just like Blonde, this exceptional comedy looks at the darker side of Hollywood, featuring mental breakdowns and memorable scenes of biblical fires.

The Hours (2002)

This award-winning drama from Stephen Daldry splits its narrative into three distinct sections, exploring three powerful women across three generations. The eldest timeline focuses on the tragic tale of Virginia Woolf, which may link the strongest with Monroe’s life. Similarities aside, this is an incredible movie that was critically acclaimed for its acting, visuals and gut-wrenching writing. A story exploring the meaning of life and the many hardships of womanhood.

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (2022)

Possibly released as a Netflix tie-in to the controversial biopic, The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes uses archival footage and unseen interviews to better explore the life and career of the cultural icon. It works as an impromptu investigation into Monroe’s suspicious death as well, piecing together her final few weeks in the lead up to her death. This is a great follow-up for fans who want to find out more about the celebrity’s private life and darkest secrets.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

It seems only fitting to end this list with a look at a classic noir from the particular era addressed in Blonde. Billy Wilder’s opus is seen as one of the greatest films of all time. A black and white masterpiece released around the same time as Monroe herself was growing in popularity. This motion picture addresses the fragile nature of Hollywood and the brutality behind all the glitz and glam. Blonde painstakingly recreates the look and tone of this era, even shooting some of its footage in black and white, but unfortunately it cannot hold a candle to the classics it tries to emulate.

Do you have any other recommendations for films like Blonde? Let us know!

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