Ana de Armas’ New Movie Attacked For Fetishizing Female Pain

Some critics are saying Ana de Armas's portrayal of the late Marilyn Monroe in Blonde is an example of the glorification of the pain of women.

By Joshua Jones | Published

There is much controversy surrounding the new Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde, starring Ana de Armas. Some have criticized the film for glorifying the late actress/singer’s horrific story. One person who recently shared her thoughts on the controversy is model Emily Ratajkowksis. She took to TikTok and addressed the situation with her 1.8 million followers.

“I’m not surprised to hear it’s another movie fetishizing female pain even in death. We love to fetishize female pain. Look at Amy Winehouse. Look at Brittany Spears. Look at the way we obsessed over Diana’s death… And I think as women-I can say for myself, I learned how to fetishize my own hurt and pain.”

Critics so far have not been kind to the new Ana de Armas film. Blonde currently sits at 44% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics believing it to be hard to watch due to the harsh take on Monroe’s life and career. In her review, Pop Culture Planet’s Kristen Maldonado called the film “exploitative, dehumanizing and polarizing.”

Many criticized Ana de Armas’ Cuban accent even before the first reviews began trickling in online. After the first trailer of Blonde was released, some picked apart the Armas’ attempt to mimic Monroe’s speech pattern and tone. The actress’ attempt, however, was met with mixed responses from fans who called Armas out for letting her accent slip in a few places.

Female exploitation is a discussion that Ana de Armas herself has participated in. The Blade Runner 2049 star told Variety that her nude scenes in movies often get the most attention from people online. The actress said she “knows what’s going to go viral, and it’s disgusting.”

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Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Ana de Armas’ star over the years has grown since her role in the Blade Runner sequel. In addition to her role as Marilyn Monroe, Armas recently starred in the Netflix actioner The Gray Man alongside Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. During an interview with Variety, Evans predicted Armas would receive major awards consideration for her role in Blonde after seeing some of the actress’ camera tests.

Although Evans has vouched for her, Ana de Armas is still fighting quite an uphill battle. The conversation surrounding what many called the film’s glorification of female suffering, and the film’s NC-17 rating has taken much of the attention away from Armas’ performance. Armas herself expressed confusion regarding the MPAA’s decision to rate the film NC-17, according to Uproxx.

Perhaps its awards chances may save the new Ana de Armas-led biopic. We’re seeing many awards-friendly films coming out of the woodwork and beginning to receive a lot of buzz. Some like Viola Davis’ The Woman King and Oliva Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling have their own controversy attached to them.

Ana de Armas did get a lot of awards buzz for her work in Rian Johnson’s mystery thriller Knives Out, so perhaps there’s a chance for voters to recognize her work in the Marilyn Monroe biopic. Still, the discussion regarding the film’s grotesque depiction of Monroe’s Hollywood career may be too much of a turnoff for voters. The Netflix project did receive one accolade so far, with director Andrew Dominik getting nominated at the Venice Film Festival.

We’ll have to see how all of this pans out. The Monroe estate has at least reacted positively to Ana de Armas’ performance based on the most recent trailers.