Love, Marilyn

Drawing on Marilyn Monroe’s letters and notebooks from the archives of the late Lee Strasberg—one of her prime teachers and crucial confidants—the director Liz Garbus has assembled a distinctive, empathetic, and cogent biographical portrait. Monroe emerges as a painfully self-aware and motivated performer who craved achievement as much as fame yet understood the value of her sexual allure, which she donned like a mask and became, to her dismay, her public identity.

Monroe worked to cultivate her craft, studying acting and catching up on her education, and she took great risks to take control of her career in the mid-fifties, when it was at its commercial apogee. Meanwhile, she faced ridicule for her ambitions while enduring torment over the roles, public and private, into which her much ballyhooed marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller thrust her.

By way of these texts as well as through well-chosen archival footage and interviews, Monroe’s vulnerability and sense of inadequacy, her frustration and solitude, come through poignantly. Garbus delivers Monroe’s texts to a batch of current-day actresses and Monroe’s intimate voice, rescued from the screenplays and the junkets, is a revelation. - New Yorker

Love, Marilyn

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