Atomic Blonde was definitely one of my favorite movies of 2017.
In a nutshell: Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent played by Charlize Theron, is sent to Berlin a few days before the fall of the wall in order to find a lost list of secret agents.
Many reasons beyond the fact that the movie was clever and wildly entertaining made me fall in love with Atomic Blonde.
Firstly, it uses all the traditional codes of the spy movie without the protagonist’s femininity ever getting in the way. On the contrary, femininity is only ever used as a means to add a smart, witty twist to said codes.
The character played by Charlize Theron has no story, no specific feature that might make her sympathetic to the audience and offers no way for us to relate or identify with her, an emotional mechanism that is all too common in cinema.
For once, a woman fights, gets a black eye, bruised lips, which are not hidden by makeup but on full display, and not because she’s an abused housewife but because it’s her job. Likewise, she goes on a mission – into combat – not to avenge the loss of a child or a husband but just because that’s the job she chose.
I am fond of the idea that she uses fighting techniques that would be suitable and practical for a woman – and not a man – in real life, an alteration which apparently required a lot of adapting and lengthy training for the combat scenes.
I like that fact that she doesn’t fall hopelessly in love on her mission and that instead of sleeping with a man… she sleeps with a woman, without it allowing us to pigeonhole her sexuality.
When the movie came out, Charlize Theron explained how difficult it had been to produce a movie around a woman hero. The Summer of 2017 had everyone talking about how girl power was returning through Hollywood movies, and many compared Wonder Woman and Atomic Blondes as proofs of the latter. To be perfectly honest, though, the comparison is not a difficult one: Atomic Blonde is simply… atomic.
The movie’s equally atomic soundtrack brings together gems of the 80’s New Wave movement. You cannot help but dive headfirst into the atmosphere of the decade.
Atomic Blonde was also the classiest film of 2017. The images are beautiful and Theron’s outfits divine. They themselves aren’t that complicated – mainly black and white – but perfectly assembled with cutting contrasts, Dior having largely contributed to most costumes. The outfits were specially conceived with the combat scenes in mind for added realism. Indeed, they consist of supple, stretchy materials instead of leather, which, although it might be what we associate spies with, is rather too rigid for the job.
The show-stealer is undeniably her pair of flat-heeled thigh-high boots.
Given that I have neither the same stature nor the same charisma as Charlize Theron, I will not inflict upon you a failed replica of Lorraine Broughton. It would be a true mistake.
… I might just own a pair of thigh-high boots myself.
I inspire myself, without copying, as that would be the opposite of finding and owning your own style.
I thus give you Atomic Brunette 😉
Stuart Weitzman boots – Helmut Lang leggings – Massimo Dutti coat – Eric Bompard jumper – Agnelle gloves – Valentino handbag – Chanel sunglasses