De Armas is getting ready for her run with a comprehensive Variety profile that lays out the Blonde timeline (it began filming three years ago, before the pandemic), the tale of how de Armas mastered Marilyn’s distinctive voice through her Cuban accent, and the story of how de Armas personified the iconic actress through various “degradations” on screen. The phrase “degradation” appears several times throughout the profile. Put a pin in that; I’ll go into more detail about it in my thorough analysis of Blonde. Until Blonde is released online, let’s focus on de Armas owning her sex scenes, that NC-17 rating (honestly, the movie isn’t that explicit; Netflix could have appealed the rating and gotten it down to an R, but I bet they chose the free publicity NC-17 offers instead), and the knowledge that her naked body will be GIFed into oblivion.
The next week, when Blonde becomes accessible on Netflix, its brief theatrical run as a quasi-biopic of Marilyn Monroe starring Ana de Armas will come to an end. Ana de Armas will also compete in the Best Actress Oscar category at this time because she will be the talk of the media for at least a week. She may have made headlines in Venice, but Cate Blanchett, Michelle Williams, and Michelle Yeoh—who won an award at TIFF and is contending for the year’s most worthy nomination—had to compete for viewers’ attention. There won’t be anything or anyone to get in her way, though, when Blonde week, Marilyn week, and Ana week all fall on the following week (except from Billy Eichner’s rom-com Bros, which enters theaters two days after Blonde is made available on Netflix).
In the long run, that might be more advantageous for De Armas than the accent-related difficulties. Due to COVID delays and shutdowns, Blonde’s production wasn’t done until mid-2021, after de Armas’ breakup with Dunkin Donuts enthusiast Ben Affleck. She lived the Marilyn days and had her own exploitation of a romance as a result. Ana, if she wants to discuss that connection, we’ll listen to her, but comparing her personal experiences of tabloid exploitation to Marilyn’s identical experiences—now there’s a story. She is not required to discuss that relationship, in my opinion. Additionally, it will be less difficult for the historically conservative Academy to accept than bringing up Marilyn’s comparable print media exploitation or the online exploitation of actor bodies. The awards season is not the appropriate moment for this conversation, despite the fact that it should be had. While she manages her own tabloid hysteria, Ana de Armas is far more logically compared to Marilyn Monroe.