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|Index||16 reviews in total|
Writing a review is not usual for me, but after watching this film I
felt compelled to offer an alternative take to what another reviewer
has described as "fairly insufferable". That is a personal view, not
particularly objective, or even fair, in my opinion. I believe anyone
who has seen any to all of Marliyn's movies will appreciate the
insights this movie provides into her private life. I found the
readings from her journals particularly enlightening. The content of
these journals was deeply personal and well articulated, and the
dramatic readings by various actors only amplified this fact. I've seen
other documentaries about MM, but in my opinion this film does the best
job of demonstrating the dichotomy between her movie persona and her
personal life. It reveals that behind the sex symbol was a thoughtful,
intelligent woman who worked hard for everything she got, and who was
plagued throughout her life by psychological demons. It is an
evenhanded approach, neither castigating her for her faults, nor
deifying her for what she accomplished.
Highly recommended for all MM fans.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this and I am no huge Marilyn
Monroe fan or anyone who has followed the thousand plus books, films,
or articles on her or her career.
What we saw here was an incredibly bright talent and what appeared to be a sensitive and smart woman who was perhaps too sensitive for her own good.
I learned that she wanted to be a better actress. She worked hard to improve herself when she was first signed to the studio and then she studied with the famous Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg in NYC during the time of her contract dispute, a year, something I never knew. She battled with the studio for some control over her career and projects and she won. Had she lived, as she had just signed a new contract with the studio, who knows where her career might have gone. She was far more than what I thought.
Her marriages were also made of tragedy. Both men seemed to love her but seemed very controlling and Miller in particular seemed to consider her inferior to him. DiMaggio I felt seemed to adore her and want to take care of her, respected her, but hated the notoriety her fame brought and didn't want her to continue with her career. It's interesting he told her after her divorce how much he still loved her but if he were in her shoes, he would have divorced him also.
I didn't mind the other actors brought in to read her words, in some cases I thought it helped(Viola Davis, Paul Giamatti, Jennifer Ehle, Marissa Tomei, F. Murray Abraham). Others like Uma Thurman, Glenn Close, Ellen Burstyn were kind of a waste. But the high point was seeing the old footage, some of the old clips of interviews of people like Jack Lemmon, Arthur Miller, Billy Wilder, and company. I think having Amy Greene(?) her old friend part of this really added a lot.
Definitely worth a look even if you're not a Marilyn Monroe fanatic.
Since Marilyn Monroe is one of my idols, I had to watch this documentary. I knew a lot about her already since she has been such a big part of my life but I was excited to see and hear Marilyn's own voice come to life in such a unique way. The movie takes you through the ups and downs of her life with commentary from great talents and other people in her life such as Milton Greene's widow, Amy Greene, friends and other actors/directors such as Jane Russell and Billy Wilder. I found myself crying throughout the whole documentary because we all know Marilyn's life was ended tragically but yet, everyone still sees her as just a sex symbol when really, that was the farthest from her real personality. Love, Marilyn takes you inside her mind by talents of this new era and it is thoroughly enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Rarely is the public ever allowed to see the private journals written
by major movie stars or public figures who die tragically. In this film
- Marilyn Monroe is exposed in ways that reveal who she truly was. A
woman trying to figure out who she was, using acting as therapy. Having
been abandoned as a child, she spent her life trying to receive the
love and approval that she never got from her birth parents.
One of the most stunning things about Marilyn is that she was poetic and far more articulate than anyone ever gave her credit for. Hearing her own words against the backdrop of the times shows her fragility in ways that have never been seen before. Told through archival and film clips, interviews with people she knew and film historians, actors provide dramatic readings of the materials written by both the actress and observers at that time.
Some startling revelations also exonerate and vindicate her to a great degree. For instance, the many stories about her being late to the set and unable to perform can be explained by the fact that her acting process was different. As Actor's Studio coach Lee Strasberg said - she was one of the most sensitive and talented of any actor he ever worked with. That would explain, then, why Billy Wilder had such a time trying to give her explicitly technical direction. Not to mention, Laurence Olivier thoroughly insulted her as she out-performed him on camera.
She was also dismayed by the fact that she was presented as so stupid that she wouldn't be able to tell that Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis were actually men in drag and not women. That whole comic story line was dependent upon her character's stupidity. Only the joke was on her.
Her first marriage to Joe DiMaggio was fraught with turmoil due to the demands of her career. They divorced, but when she was lied to and locked away in a sanitarium without her knowledge and consent - it was DiMaggio who came to her rescue. Alarmed at how she had fallen in with people he felt exploited her, he asked her to remarry him on August 1, 1961, but she was found dead August 5. In fact, he loved her so much that he had red roses delivered three times each week to her grave site for two decades.
An acquaintance of Marilyn said that it was during her time with Arthur Miller that she began using barbiturates to sleep. It isn't any wonder, given that Miller told the press that they were to marry before he even asked her. It was clear that he used her. First, to get out of his House Un-American Activities Commission debacle, then to get material, writing unflattering and malicious things about her in his journals. Then he rubbed salt in the wound by putting these details in The Misfits, forcing her to make fun of herself in cruel ways. Miller also wound up schtupping a photographer he met on the set - apparently right under Marilyn's nose. No wonder it was her last film. Drugs are a funny thing. If you're fragile, you get hooked - for a lifetime.
But once Marilyn was rid of Miller, she was really looking to working with Lee Strasberg in her production company to create the kinds of projects that inspired her. That, and the fact that DiMaggio's son had spoken to her the night she died, saying she seemed just fine makes it apparent that she did not commit suicide. She was on a number of medications at the time so it was probably accidental. Her legendary romps with the Kennedy boys are the stuff of sordid tabloids, but it wasn't talked about until decades later. Marilyn was known to have a journal documenting her affairs and conversations. Before she died, rumors were circulating that she planned a press conference that following Monday. If that is the case, it would seem that the Kennedy boys, who had used and cast her aside would stand a lot to lose. Especially since Bobby Kennedy is said to have been at the scene before the coroner when Marilyn's body was found. Most likely, to destroy her latest journal. Who told him about it? Seems like maybe he already knew.
And what better way to debase and invalidate someone than to insinuate that they were so unhappy that they killed themselves? It would certainly feed the male egos of the men who rejected her. But she got the last laugh, because her candle has been lit for half a century. Wherever she is, she must be smiling - especially now that her true voice has finally been heard -- for the first time ever.
Love, Marilyn (2012)
*** (out of 4)
Nice documentary done on the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe. Through diary writings and other words written by the star, we hear these brought to life by various actors playing her as well as playing other people that surrounded the tragic star. A quick look at IMDb will show just how many familiar names were used to bring these words to life and I think for the most part the film is a success, although this technique doesn't quite work as well as I'm sure the producers were hoping. I will start off with the good and that's how the film pretty much starts from Marilyn's early days and leads right up to her death. We get to see everything in between including her personal life, her marriages, her film roles and of course her darker days. Throughout all of this one really gets a good idea of what frame of mind the actress was in whether it was her nerves getting the best of her or when everything came together and she managed to do some incredible work. I've read other reviews that have attacked the film for being too kind on Monroe but I guess this here will be based on the viewer and their opinion on the subject. One case is Monroe's final film, which Fox fired her from because she wasn't getting the work done. This documentary makes it seem that Fox was more to blame than anyone else. There's also the know issues Monroe had working with Lawrence Olivier but this film claims that Monroe was causing all these problems (not knowing lines, being late) not because she wanted to but because she was sticking it to the director for something rude he said to her. Either way, fans of Monroe should at least enjoy seeing the film clips and hearing some of these words that the legend wrote.
This was a very good documentary. I learned a lot about MM and liked
seeing old interviews with her and her friends and peers. The story,
structure, music and editing were great and it was never dull. My only
complaint is that I cringed many times, watching most of the actors
read from Marilyn and others' letters and books. I felt that they
emoted waaaaaay too much and were showing off. It felt like they agreed
to recite the words or "act" for selfish reasons. It was over the top:
especially Marisa Tormei, Uma Thurman and Adrian Brody. It called to
much attention to the actors and was very distracting. It took me OUT
of the film.
The film was about MM not these actors. At the very least, the should have been offscreen, only supplying a voice over. I suppose the director's argument would be that they were trying to convey the emotions of the subjects who had written the books, poetry, etc, but it was embarrassing and self serving. I will not see the film again for this single reason. This is a documentary. I don't want to see Hollywood actors overacting.
When I saw this documentary was on HBO I tuned in and wanted to see what it was all about, I wasn't that impressed. The letters straight from Marilyn's thoughts were interesting and heartfelt but having them read by Hollywooace actors just didn't work that well In my opinion. When SOME of these A listers read from the aforementioned letters they seemed like they themselves were making it all about them and not Marilyn at all. The lines from the letters were often over dramatized and poorly executed and would have been more effective had they just come from an unseen source. Overall this film seemed like it made everyone else out to be the bad guy when it came to Marilyn's unhappiness and misfortune and maybe that was the case, who can say. Although when Marilyn didn't know her lines and often didn't show up to the set for a variety of reasons I'm sure that it could wear on a director or producer who was probably under the gun to finish the picture as it is. Although Marilyn was often trouble on the set her performances on the big screen were always pure, genuine and special but the film made her out to be a troubled pawn in the chess game of Hollywood life and to me the film could have been more objective at times. Overall this is not a bad film (especially if you love Marilyn) but nothing to write home about, pun intended.
While it's interesting after a fashion to hear these actors read her
journals and try to make them come alive, sometimes too empathetically,
it becomes repetitive after a while. What could have added an extra
needed dimension to this since they gathered such an amazing array of
talent is to have these respected thespians, well except for Lohan,
tell what value they found in Marilyn's work and what she meant to
them. It would have added a more personal touch and since the actors
involved are a broad spectrum of ages and techniques it would have
shown how someone who was often dismissed as a lightweight had an
impact on screen that bridged generations.
Still this is worth seeing, if for nothing else the clips of Marilyn. Only a few are different from the ones that are usually shown but as always she glows with an interior light.
I like, many out there, am a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe and was excited to see this movie... and I was not disappointed! I have seen this 3x and will see it again!! I rarely, if ever, have watched anything more than once but this is so well executed that watching this gives me sense of knowing her just a little bit better from the people that were really in her life each time I watch it. I am also, a bit hyper and not very often will sit through a movie/program without getting up and being drawn to do something else. Would highly recommend this to anyone who loves her or, for that matter, anyone interested in finding out more about her!!!
I went to this movie knowing very little about Marilyn Monroe, and glad
to have the opportunity to learn more about her. Unfortunately, the way
the film was put together made it highly disappointing to me.
We are told at the start that recently unearthed writings of the actress herself are to be incorporated in the film, and this sounded promising to me. However, the rediscovered writings are actually the biggest problem with this movie. While these notes, journal entries, etc. show Marilyn Monroe at her most honest and unguarded, they are included via dramatic readings by a long list of contemporary actors. The actors are shot superimposed on images of the original writings themselves, pages filled with a rather childish scrawl. The photography of the actors as they read is filled with hyperactive panning, zooming and cutting that quickly becomes highly distracting. Also, the actors' dramatic readings are generally stilted and end up being quite grating because as examples of acting they are very subpar. Unaccountably, the actors often do not read Marilyn's exact words, carelessly omitting or adding a word here or there. You know this because the actor is reading the line while the line is shown enlarged in the background at the same time in Marilyn's handwriting. Sometimes the version read by the actor is actually meaningfully different because of the omission or inclusion of a word or two. I couldn't understand why short phrases couldn't just be read accurately by the actors... or was this their "attempt" to add their own interpretation to historical documents that should have simply been left alone?
Toward the end of the movie, I took to closing my eyes whenever an actor came on screen to declaim yet another excerpt from Marilyn Monroe's diaries. Not watching the hyperactive camera work made these frequent interludes more bearable but they were still painful enough.
It seems obvious that the film maker decided that having a narrator simply read the excerpts from Marilyn's diaries as a voice over would be too boring or passe. The film maker apparently thought that dramatic readings by well-known actors would jazz up the journal writings and make the film more exciting for viewers. In my case this did not happen and I really hated this pointless approach to the written text.
Simply put, the film maker's obsession with making historical material more exciting/lively was a complete turnoff for me. The dramatic readings were frequent, intrusive, uninteresting and often ridiculous. This is what happens when someone tries too hard to be liked.
As you have no doubt guessed I do not recommend this movie. If there's another way to learn more about Marilyn Monroe through a movie, then do yourself a favor and go that other way.
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