Film Review: Proceed with Caution into Blonde, Starring Ana de Armas!


For this post, I’m putting on my academician & literati hat…

I read Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates in 2010, out of my urgent love for Oates’ chilling writing & adoration of Marilyn Monroe as a fashion icon & screen legend. Knowing that the book was, in fact, marketed & labeled as a fictional biography, I voluntarily stepped into Oates’ well-researched & mystifying gaze upon Monroe’s troubled & glitzy life. By the time I finished the book, my heart sunk deeply into a place of grief for another version of the life of Hollywood’s most iconic of bombshells, ending in solemn tragedy, the same feeling I recognized from HBO’s Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) & then later with My Week with Marilyn (2011), as well as Netflix’s documentary The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (2022), HBO’s documentary Love, Marilyn (2012), & Lifetime’s The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (2015).

No matter the avenue by which a viewer enters the memory of Monroe, the outcome is always the same; at first, I suspected that Oates’ Blonde offered a revisionist hope, but by the end, that remains unattained because Monroe does die & never gets her glorious victory. That’s a blunt reality that can’t be changed, even if the fictional road to her demise is illustrated with fearless creative license.

However, not long after completing Oates’ novel, I started freelancing for Movie Buzzers, & the one bit of film news to have followed me from that era of my life has finally come to fruition with director Andrew Dominik’s interpretation of Oates’ heralded fiction, which has come under fire with deeply scathing criticism, after its long-awaited premiere.

Having read the book & nearly every major review of the controversial film, I stand firm in stating that Dominik serves Oates well. That’s not to say that the film is perfect, but it’s a loyal depiction of another artist’s depiction, & yes, these are depictions of a real woman—one who is still very much relevant at the forefront of the media 60 years after her death. These days, headlines about Monroe are less about her films & more about her experiences through the lens of the media & paparazzi. No matter the screen size, big or small, Monroe’s legacy is fraught with exploitation. Dominik serves one more example, albeit an explicit & unapologetic vision, that won’t victimize her more than she already was, especially as unauthorized biopics & mini series about other celebrities—who are still alive & vocal about their disapproval for such interpretations—are made by those with enough money to not care, consumed by the public, & awarded by the industry (see: Pam & Tommy).

The NC-17 rating for Blonde is a justified warning the audience chooses to join when streaming the film on Netflix; therefore, they should expect the unexpected. The sex is graphic. The nudity is excessive. The abuse is gutting. The fetuses—yes, plural—are unnecessary, but overall, vehicles that reinforce the myth of who the woman underneath the platinum persona was. Marilyn Monroe is a myth that killed Norma Jean Baker—that is Dominik & Oates’ story.

In addition, Ana de Armas, recognizable accent & all, is mesmerizing, even in tears, on a stage, when victimized, opposite her lovers, when nude, in a drug-induced hysteria, & when joyous. de Armas embodies Oates’ Monroe, spitting out every ugly side of a male-dominated, vicious Hollywood back at the audience. Moreover, de Armas conquers the demands of the role, sure to garner her an Oscar nomination.

The shifts from color to black & white are confusing, but it’s wiser to go with it than question it, in order to immerse the audience in the imagery that made Monroe sparkle & dimmed her at the same time.

The costumes, hair, & makeup are identical & uncanny to Monroe’s most gorgeous, provocative, & vulnerable moments captured on film & through photographs.

Ultimately, if your hope is to enjoy Blonde, do your research first to not only understand the source material, but the context in which Monroe lived. Do I recommend this film? Not to every one. However, there are far more shocking & formulaic forms of entertainment about fantastical lands with their own crude, misogynistic mythologies that the masses flock to. If you appreciate cinematic artistry that pushes boundaries, watch Blonde. If everything you’ve heard about it makes you pause, move on.

Also, read Oates’ short story “Three Girls” to see how the author focuses on Monroe in a shorter, more validating & charming fictional work that I’d love to see find its way to the big screen.

View the trailer & other videos about Blonde below. Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: Ana de Armas in Louis Vuitton at the Venice Film Festival’s premiere of Blonde!


When I learned that Golden Globe-nominated actress Ana de Armas had arrived in Venice, I was so excited to refresh my feeds to see what the Cuban star would wear to the highly-anticipated premiere of her controversial film, Blonde, where she stars as Marilyn Monroe. Naturally, her red carpet look would be elegant & stunning, but also, I wondered if & how the gown would represent the bombshell icon at the center of the film.

In a bright pink pleated gown with a deep-v by Louis Vuitton, Ana graced the red carpet in true Hollywood fashion. Her gentle waves & sophisticated jewelry by Messika hearken to an era of glamour & ease that offers a refreshing twist on Barbiecore.

Additionally, the hue pays homage to Marilyn’s signature pink from her “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” musical sequence in the 1949 film Gentleman Prefer Blondes; likewise, the halter & pleated look of Ana’s dress are reminiscent of the iconic subway grate scene in The Seven Year Itch from 1955.

Escorted to the premiere by one of the film’s producers, Brad Pitt, Ana shines, which is no surprise. I hope this marks the beginning of an exciting & stylish press tour for the 2 hour 46-minute film that’s rated NC-17 & is based on the disorienting evocative fictional biography by Joyce Carol Oates that begins streaming on Netflix on September 28th, especially leading up to awards season!

What do you think of Ana’s red carpet look? Are you excited to see Blonde? Are you a fan of Marilyn Monroe’s films? For more stylish posts, check out: more jewelry organization ideas, Zendaya’s most gorgeous green gowns & outfits on the red carpet, & Selena Gomez’s dress inspiration in the season 2 finale of Only Murders in the Building! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: Ana de Armas, Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, & More at the L.A. Premiere of Netflix’s The Gray Man!


Last night, Hollywood was a glow with gray… as in Netflix’s The Gray Man, directed by The Russo Brothers, premiered with all the stars gracing the red carpet in their very best glam for one of the hottest movies of the summer. The film reunites Cuban actress Ana de Armas with her Knives Out costar, Chris Evans, in a casual chic navy suit, and Bladerunner 2049 lead, Ryan Gosling, Ken-ning it up in a mint & white, answering questions about the film’s stunts & his preparation for the upcoming Barbie movie with Margot Robbie.

However, Ana stole the spotlight in a shimmering Louis Vuitton Cruise 2023 gown, especially with all the buzz surrounding her upcoming portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in the film adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates fictional biography Blonde, directed by Andrew Dominik. After a breakout last two years in Knives Out and the recent 007 film, No Time to Die, Ana is one to watch on screen & on the red carpet. Every angle of this gown is beautiful & her poise, starpower, & style are breathtaking.

Additionally, the film’s cast includes Bridgerton alum Regé-Jean Page in a navy suit, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood rising star Julia Butters in a gold sparkling gown, Jessica Henwick from The Matrix Resurrections wearing a plunging v-neck gray gown, Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard, Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton, & Indian actor Dhanush. Also, in attendance for the premiere, lighting up the red carpet were Bridgerton star Simone Ashley in a black cut-out gown, the voice of Moana & Brazillian actress Any Gabrielly, model Kara Del Toro in a red ruched lace high-slit gown, model & YouTube star Emma Brooks in a black deep-v mini dress, & Disney star Kelli Berglund in a mixed printed mini dress.

For more access to the red carpet premiere of the film, check out the videos below to hear from Ana, Chris, & Ryan all about preparation for the action-packed The Gray Man & more!

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the stars in The Gray Man with the trailer below:

The film debuts on Netflix for your streaming pleasure on July 22nd! I know I can’t wait to see it–even though action films aren’t necessarily my go-to film choice, I’m a loyal follower of Ana de Armas & Ryan Gosling, happy to support their stylish endeavors with posts on Style Darling Daily, along with their on-screen accomplishments.

What do you think of Ana’s red carpet look? Are you a fan of Ryan Gosling or Chris Evans’ films? Are you excited to see The Gray Man? What about Blonde or Barbie? What summer film are you most looking forward to? For more stylish posts, check out: a Barbiecore gallery, featuring Hailey Bieber, Kacey Musgraves, & Florence Pugh; affordable summer totes from Walmart; Sofia Vergara’s style over the years in honor of her 50th birthday; Stranger Things star Sadie Sink’s Miu Miu look for TODAY; & Kim Kardashian’s Allure cover for August!

Cover Craze: The Crown’s Emma Corrin Stars on Vogue’s August 2022 Issue!


As the recent covers of fashion publications get more & more glamorous, readers are also served plentiful substance concerning diversity & culture-conscious topics since the language of fashion encompasses all identities. This is why Vogue‘s August 2022 issue, featuring Golden Globe-winner, Emma Corrin (they/them), is such a milestone for LGBTQ+ visibility & an opportunity to explore the fluidity of fashion. Emma is the first openly non-binary cover star for the magazine, embracing both fashion & body hair their way—unapologetically!

In the article, written by Emma Spector, photographed by Jamie Hawkesworth, and styled by Alex Harrington, Emma takes the spotlight in fabulous, avant garde styles with pieces from Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Marni, Maison Margiela, Miu Miu, Comme des Garçons, Proenza Schouler, Hailey Desjardins, Prada, Adidas, The Row, & Loewe.

Spector not only writes about Emma’s rise to fame as Princess Diana on Netflix’s The Crown, but also their upcoming projects, including My Policeman, alongside Harry Styles, & an adaptation of Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence, as well as Emma’s social media presence supporting & raising awareness for the trans community. Emma states, “In my mind, gender just isn’t something that feels fixed…and I don’t know if it ever will be; there might always be some fluidity there for me…If you have a platform and you’re able to use it, that’s obviously so important—and I met some incredible people through it.”

What do you think of Emma’s cover shoot for Vogue? How do you feel about fashion risk takers? How do you support the LGBTQ+ community? For more stylish celebrity posts, check out: Keira Knightley’s Chanel LBD for Paris Fashion Week, a red carpet flashback in patriotic colors with Sofia Vergara & Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman’s Variety shoot to promote Thor: Love & Thunder, & Stranger Things star Maya Hawke on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon! Happy Styling!

Cover Craze: Natalie Portman Talks Thor: Love and Thunder for Variety!


Natalie Portman is everywhere right now, promoting the heck out of her new movie & return to the Marvel Universe as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, which hits theaters on July 8th. Style Darling Daily previously posted about Natalie’s gorgeous rose gold Celine dress to the Los Angeles premiere of the film, but she also appears on the cover of Variety, striking a superhero pose in structured pieces from Christian Dior (which Natalie is a spokesperson for), Iris Van Herpen, & more.

The article, written by Adam B. Vary, includes not only Natalie’s reflection on her career, including the painstaking transformation that she experienced while filming Black Swan, her Academy Award-winning role, but also she discusses family, giving back, activism for women’s rights, & upcoming projects, including Lady in the Lake for Apple TV+.

Natalie speaks to the publication about her own superhero experiences and wishes, along with how she prepared for the role.

On the red carpet for the premiere, Natalie continues to praise her fellow superheroes, stating how lucky she feels to be a part of such an important role for young girls.

Also, last month, Natalie appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, interviewed by comedy actor Sean Hayes, for more fun discussion about the film & Natalie’s preparations for it.

If you haven’t seen it already, here is the trailer for the highly anticipated film:

What do you think of Natalie’s photo shoot? Are you excited to see Thor: Love and Thunder? Who is your favorite female superhero character? For more stylish posts, check out: Selena Gomez’s Alexander McQueen look at a recent Rare Beauty launch, Maya Hawke’s all-denim ensemble for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, a celebration of black Hollywood for Juneteenth, & Jennifer Lopez’s Netflix documentary Halftime. Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, & More Dress to Impress at the Thor: Love & Thunder Premiere!


Hollywood was all aglow tonight with not only the stars of Marvel’s latest Thor: Love & Thunder, but the premiere dazzled with red carpet looks from the film’s stylish stars. This includes leading lady Natalie Portman who sparkled in rose gold Celine Couture mini dress, the always stunning Tessa Thompson who was sleek in a cut-out Armani Prive column gown, badass Karen Gillan who played with florals in an Oscar de la Renta mini, Kat Dennings wore a flirty black mini dress by Alessandra Rich, Elsa Pataky stepped out in a plunging Dundas gown, Xochitl Gomez struck a pose in a red Monot, Eternals actress Lia McHugh wore a floral ruffle PatBo gown, & Jaimie Alexander‘s purple Marc Jacobs number made a statement. Check out the gallery & slideshow below!

Which look is your favorite from the night? Are you excited to see the latest installment in the Thor series? What summer blockbuster are you eager to see? For more stylish celebrity posts, check out Beyonce’s British Vogue cover shoot, Charlize Theron’s denim & Dior look, & Blake Lively’s little white dress summer inspiration. Happy Styling!

Cover Craze: Margot Robbie for Harper’s Bazaar December 2018 / January 2019 Issue!


Australian actress & Oscar-nominee Margot Robbie covers the December 2018 / January 2019 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, looking every bit the star she is. Some of her most notable films include The Wolf of Wall Street, I, Tonya, Suicide Squad, & Goodbye Christopher Robin. For the glam trapeze-themed photo shoot, she dons only the best designers, such as Chanel (the brand for which she is a spokesmodel), Armani Privé, Tiffany & Co., Tom Ford, Michael Kors Collection, Bulgari, & more!

The blonde bombshell discusses her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, established in 2014, as well as her new film Mary Queen of Scots co-starring Saoirse Ronan.

For more on the article (by Christine Lennon) & dazzling photographs (by Camilla Akrans), click here. Also, for more fashionable magazine covers featuring Margot Robbie, check out Elle, W magazine, & British Vogue. This issue of Harper’s Bazaar hits newsstands on November 20th! Happy Styling!