Viewers have called it "distasteful" and "exploitative" despite its "impeccable cinematography"
(Image credit: Netflix)
Ana de Armas’ new movie Blonde has caused some controversy since landing on Netflix. Based on Joyce Carol Oates’ book, the film is directed by Andrew Dominik and follows Marilyn Monroe from her rise to fame to her sad death.
The fictionalized biopic has only been streaming for a few days but is already climbing up the streaming charts. It currently sits at number one on Netflix’s Top 10 movies in several countries, including the UK and the US.
However, despite its streaming success, several viewers have taken to social media to criticize the movie’s graphic portrayal of Monroe. “Blonde Netflix is distasteful,” writes one (opens in new tab). “Even if it is a fictionalized story, there can be some care put towards the film. There is this emotional detachment from Marilyn Monroe that makes this such a dark and graphic film. It’s actually disturbing how exploitative this is.”
Several graphic scenes, in particular, have been criticized, including some featuring an abortion and sexual assault. Responding to these, another viewer adds (opens in new tab): “I had the extreme misfortune of watching Blonde on Netflix last night, and let me tell you that movie is so anti-abortion, so sexist, so exploitative. CanNOT recommend it LESS. Do not watch. The abortion scenes in particular are terrible, but so is the whole entire movie.”
“Blonde is an exploitative, misogynistic, borderline torture film that berates an already tragic figure,” tweets another viewer (opens in new tab). “De Armas is good but the cruelty behind the made-up narrative and the unfocused direction takes away from her presence. This was an awful experience. Painful to watch.”
(Image credit: Netflix)
A fourth agrees (opens in new tab): “On a technical level, #Blonde is perfect. Impeccable cinematography and score. Ana de Armas gives a chilling performance. But when it comes to the script, the director tried to tell the story of an exploited movie star using – ironically – exploitation instead of compassion.”
However, despite its backlash, other viewers shared their enjoyment of the movie, and in particular De Armas’ powerful performance. “Ana De Armas gave a FANTASTIC performance,” writes one viewer (opens in new tab). “OSCAR WORTHY ×100. The movie isn’t as shocking or disturbing as people are saying it is. I loved this movie. It was beautiful, haunting, poignant, & stunning.”
Others claimed it was faithful to Oates’ novel. “Reading the #BlondeNetflix thread and people again just missing the point,” adds another viewer (opens in new tab). “Has anyone bothered reading the Joyce Carol Oates book? The film is fairly faithful to the book. It is an adaptation of that book. If you view this as fiction it is a truly haunting piece of fiction.”
The film has received a hefty amount of critical praise elsewhere, with Total Film’s Blonde review giving it five stars and calling it “uncomfortable viewing, but also engaging, unbridled cinema that will prompt discourse and divide opinions.”
It seems whatever you think of Netflix’s Blonde, it’s certainly a conversation starter. For what else to stream, check out our guide to the best Netflix movies available right now.
I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I’ve also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.
Keyword: Netflix's Blonde movie faces backlash after landing at #1 on streamer's charts>