The long-anticipated Marilyn Monroe biopic has been branded ‘cruel and heartbreaking’ as viewers admit they switched off after 20 minutes.
Netflix film Blonde, starring Ana de Armas as the late Hollywood icon and pin-up, was slammed by viewers as ‘unwatchable’ as they took issue with the content of the movie.
One person, who strongly disliked the film, took to Twitter to say its director Andrew Dominik should ‘never work again’ after portraying Monroe as a ‘w****’.
Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde, starring Ana de Armas (pictured) as the late Hollywood actress, has been slammed for its ‘cruel and heartbreaking’ tone
While fans are in uproar over the depiction of Monroe in this movie, it is not the only biopic that has fallen flat over the years
While fans are in uproar over the depiction of Monroe in this movie, it is not the only biopic that has fallen flat over the years, with several other high-budget movies about icons in the film and music industries being panned by critics and audiences alike.
Here, FEMAIL takes a look at some of the most poorly-received biopics of recent years, and why people found them so difficult to stomach…
Grace of Monaco, 2014
After the trailer for Nicole Kidman’s Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco was released in 2014, the royal family of Monaco branded the premise of the film ‘a farce’
The Hollywood icon, who was played by Nicole Kidman, gave up her acting career to marry the Monégasque prince, with whom she had two children, Albert and Caroline
After the trailer for Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco was released in 2014, certain aspects of the film drew criticism – in particular, her marriage to Prince Rainier III.
The Hollywood icon, who was played by Nicole Kidman, gave up her acting career to marry the Monégasque prince, with whom she had two children, Albert and Caroline.
Grace of Monaco finds the former actress at a crossroads after six years living as a royal.
However, after the trailer for the film was released, the royal family of Monaco hit back at what they described as a ‘farce’.
In a furious statement, the family said it wanted to distance itself from the biopic, which it said was ‘totally fictional’ and based on inaccurate information.
Responding to criticism from the royal family, KinoGo as well as reviewers, Nicole Kidman told Good Morning Britain: ‘Most films I do ruffle feathers.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever done a film that hasn’t had some sort of controversy, that just seems to be where I’m at.’
Zoe Saldana starred as Nina Simone in a biopic about the iconic singer and civil rights activist in 2016, but was met with allegations of ‘blackface’ after her skin was darkened and she wore a prosthetic nose for the role
Simone was an African-American jazz singer with an unmistakable voice and a civil rights activist who battled racism throughout her career
After Avatar actress Zoe Saldana was cast to play legendary singer Nina Simone in a 2016 movie about her life, the production was soon plagued by accuations of colourism.
Simone was an African-American jazz singer with an unmistakable voice and a civil rights activist who battled racism throughout her career, and many people considered it problematic that Domenican/Puerto Rican Saldana had been cast to play her.
The film was accused of promoting ‘blackface’ as Saldana’s skin was darkened and she wore a prosthetic nose in order to play the singer.
At the time of the film’s release, the singer’s descendants, including her daughter Simone Kelly, heavily criticised the casting choice.
Although she defended her role at the time, Saldana eventually apologised for playing Simone in 2020.
She said: ‘I thought back then that I had the permission because I was a Black woman, and I am. But, it’s Nina.
And Nina had a life and a journey that should be honored to the specific detail… she deserved better.”
Naomi Watts (pictured in the official poster for Diana in 2013) walked out of an interview with Simon Mayo amid criticism over the film
Princess Diana’s story has been recreated in several TV and film adaptations over the years (pictured in 1997)
Princess Diana’s story has been recreated in several TV and film adaptations over the years, including in Netflix’s The Crown and 2021 film Spencer.
While all adaptations can be subject to criticism, it was the 2013 film Diana, starring Naomi Watts as the late Princess of Wales, that has been remembered for all the wrong reasons.
It focused on Diana’s relationship with heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan (played by Naveen Andrews) following the breakdown of her marriage with the then-Prince Charles.
As the film opened to terrible reviews from UK critics across the board, Watts even walked out of an interview with The BBC’s Simon Mayo, leading him to say she was ‘defensive’.
Critics branded the biopic ‘fabulously awful’ and ‘squirmingly embarrassing, atrocious and intrusive’.
Responding to the criticism, the film’s director Oliver Hirschbiegel said the reviews were ‘devastating’ but insisted the UK’s poor reception of his work was due to unresolved ‘trauma’ about how the Princess of Wales died.
Bohemian Rhapsody, 2018
Rami Malek (pictured as Freddie Mercury) admitted he wanted to include more content about the Queen frontman’s sexuality in Bohemian Rhapsody
Among the criticisms of the film was its portrayal of Mercury’s sexuality, first showing his nine-year relationship with his fiancée Mary Austin before he began dating hairdresser Jim Hutton until he died in 1991 after contracting AIDS
Rami Malek won an Oscar for his portrayal of beloved rock singer and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the biopic of his life, but this didn’t stop critics and viewers from finding serious fault with the film.
Among the criticisms of the film was its portrayal of Mercury’s sexuality, first showing his nine-year relationship with his fiancée Mary Austin before he began dating hairdresser Jim Hutton until he died in 1991 after contracting AIDS.
Although the film makes it look as though Mercury’s sexuality did a 180-degree switch between these relationships, it failed to note that he was having affairs with men during his relationship with Austin, and was subsequently accused of ‘straightwashing’.
As criticism piled on about the portrayal of Mercury’s fluid sexuality, Malek himself took aim at how the film had dealt with the issue.
Speaking to , he said: ‘It was something I pushed for, to be quite honest, as much as possible, and repeatedly brought to the attention of producers and directors and everyone who would listen.
‘If it were me, I would’ve loved to have incorporated more.’
The Theory of Everything, 2015
As actor Eddie Redmayne (pictured with on-screen wife Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything) portrayed Stephen Hawking as he battled motor neurone disease, some people questioned why a non-disabled actor had been cast to play a disabled man
The film, which starred Eddie Redmayne as Hawking, documented his relationship with his first wife Jane (pictured)
Another film which cleaned up during awards season amid backlash was the 2017 depiction of the life of acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking.
The film, which starred Eddie Redmayne as Hawking, documented his relationship with his first wife Jane (Felicity Jones), his diagnosis with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, and his groundbreaking theory about black holes, which earned him international acclaim.
However, although Redmayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of the physicist, his casting was called into doubt as an able-bodied actor playing a disabled man.
Journalist and disability activist Frances Ryan wrote in that the casting choice was akin to ‘cripping up’.
She said: ‘For many disabled people in the audience, this is watching another person fake their identity.’
The Fifth Estate, 2013
Benedict Cumberbatch admitted he considered dropping out of the Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate after he was contacted by the Wikileaks founder, who branded the film ‘toxic’
The contents of the letter implored Cumberbatch to drop out of the film, which Assange believed was ‘toxic’ and fuelled by people who had a ‘vendetta’ against him
While Julian Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, he used his spare time to write a 10 page letter to Hollywood actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who had just been cast as the Wikileaks founder in a new biopic.
The contents of the letter implored Cumberbatch to drop out of the film, which Assange believed was ‘toxic’ and fuelled by people who had a ‘vendetta’ against him.
The letter warned Cumberbatch: ‘You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it.
‘To present me as someone morally compromised and to place me in a falsified history. To create a work, not of fiction, but of debased truth.’
According to the actor, the letter gave him pause and almost led him to abandon the film altogether – but in the end he remained in his role and the film was released.
Unsurprisingly, Assange and his supporters had plenty to say when The Fifth Estate was released, labelling it a ‘massive propaganda attack’ on himself and his Wikileaks staff.