We may think we know, but we have no idea. She was the most famous woman in the world and yet the world knew so little about her. Marilyn Monroe was so much more than the air-headed characters she portrayed; she was highly intelligent, passionate and driven, as well as an innovative leader for women in Hollywood. She bucked the system and made her career her own.
Love Marilyn takes her recently discovered writings and turns them into poignant glimpses into the complicated life of the star.
Her journals, scrawled notes, and poetry tell the behind-the-scenes story. Other writings and interviews offer third person perspectives from those who knew and loved her the most.
In an interesting direction, famous actors take on the role of Marilyn Monroe and give us emotional performances. Expect some surprises from: F. Murray Abraham, Elizabeth Banks, Adrien Brody, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Hope Davis, Viola Davis, Jennifer Ehle, Ben Foster, Paul Giamatti, Jack Huston, Stephen Lang, Lindsay Lohan (seriously!), Janet McTeer, Jeremy Piven, Oliver Platt, David Strathairn, Lili Taylor, Uma Thurman, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.
Lost to the world at 36, MM died before she could show us her full potential. A feminist in her own right, she dropped the studio system that was constantly undercutting her attempts are real roles and established her own production company.
She was motivated by the desire to portray real roles, instead of the flighty airheads and bimbo bit parts, popular in the 1950’s. She never apologized for embracing female sexuality. Her struggle to be taken seriously and get paid what she deserves still remains relevant today.
Love, Marilyn is a well-executed journey from her roots as Norma Jeane Mortenson to her end as Marilyn Monroe. I found myself uncomfortable with the first few celeb readings, but that soon faded into an entirely enjoyable experience. I was struck by the caring execution of the more dramatic and painful elements. It wasn't sensationalized, but rather honest and bare.
This doc was a refreshing glimpse into the life of a real woman, who hurt just like the rest of us. Check it out, directed by Liz Garbus, premiering tonight at 9 pm on HBO.
All Images Via: Vanityfair.com.