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Ana de Armas is 'the best Latina Oscar nominee and Netflix's strongest acting bet,' says Variety

If nominated, Ana de Armas would be the fifth Latina to be promoted to this category in 95 years, as were Brazil's Fernanda Montenegro, Mexico's Salma Hayek, Colombia's Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Mexico's Yalitza Aparicio

September 29, 2022 10:48am

Updated: October 1, 2022 12:49pm

A decade ago, no one would have thought that the actress who would play Marilyn Monroe in the fictionalized biopic "Blonde" would have the best chance of being the only Latina nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress.

Yet according to trade magazine Variety, this could soon become a reality thanks to Ana de Armas' intoxicating portrayal of the famous star in Andrew Dominik's "Blonde."

If De Armas were to be nominated for best actress, she would be the fifth Latina to be nominated in the category in 95 years. She would follow Brazil's Fernanda Montenegro for "Central Station" (1998), Mexico's Salma Hayek for "Frida" (2002), Colombia's Catalina Sandino Moreno for "Maria Full of Grace" (2004), and Mexico's Yalitza Aparicio for "Roma" (2018). 

Amid Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, the only other Latina actress remotely on Oscar voters' radar is Zoe Saldaña in "Avatar: The Way of Water." But, according to Variety, Saldaña didn't get any recognition for the first "Avatar," so it wouldn't necessarily have to happen with the second.

However, there is a real possibility that several women identified with minority groups will be the dominant force in the category, with Michelle Yeoh ("Everything Everywhere All at Once"), Danielle Deadwyler ("Till"), Viola Davis ("The Woman King"), and Taylor Russell ("Bones & All") all generating excitement.

After seeing Ariana DeBose become the second Latina to win an acting Oscar for "West Side Story" (2021)—Rita Moreno, who played the same role in the original 1961 musical—it would be disheartening to see Latino representation at the awards diminish.

The outlet claims that potential hurdles for De Armas will be based on the overall reception of the NC-17 drama. It got off to a seemingly strong start at the Venice Film Festival, where it had its world premiere, starting with a solid 86% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

However, as more regional critics and journalists see the film, the score has plummeted into "rotten" territory. It currently has a rating of 53% and is dropping rapidly.

The 34-year-old Cuban actress, who was on the cover of Variety last week, has always shown promise during her brief time in Hollywood. She started in indie films and small roles such as Eli Roth's psychological thriller "Knock Knock" (2015), and Todd Phillips' "War Dogs" (2016). Her big break came when she portrayed the hologram Joi in Denis Villeneuve's "Blade Runner 2049" (2017). She landed her first starring role as Nurse Martha in "Knives Out" (2019). In addition to garnering much critical acclaim, she also earned her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Since then, she continues to draw attention no matter how big or small her role, for example, stealing the show in Daniel Craig's 007 as an agent in "No Time to Die."

The physical transformation into Marilyn Monroe is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the film, with the "Blonde" team recreating iconic images from classics such as "The Seven Year Itch" and "Some Like It Hot,” according to the magazine. 

The film's makeup and hairstyle should also enter the awards discussion and get a solid shot at making the category's shortlist when it's announced in December. Also, composers Nick Cave and Warren Ellis could get some love.

But for the moment, congratulations to Ana de Armas!

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