Ana de Armas’ fearless performance deserves a better movie than ‘Blonde’

The gap between a star performance and the movie containing it has seldom been wider than in “Blonde,” which features Ana de Armas stunningly capturing the look and essence of Marilyn Monroe in the service of a film that’s pretentious, heavy handed and lengthy to the point of exhaustion.

Netflix will surely get its money’s worth attention-wise thanks in part to its restrictive NC-17 rating, but the film’s merits burn out long before its credits ever roll.

Adapted from Joyce Carol Oates’ novel about the Hollywood icon by writer-director Andrew Dominik (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”).

The movie works from the premise that not only did the frozen-in-time star suffer because of the men around her, but also the society (that is, us) that leered at her even in the pre-Internet age.

It’s not a fresh take or a wrong one, but the tone is so self-conscious and surreal as to blunt those insights.

Norma Jeane is eventually transformed into Marilyn Monroe, but even then she consistently speaks of her star persona in the third person, as if the image stands apart and utterly separate from the human being behind it.