Gaudy. Mystical. She was an icon of whimsy and total sex appeal. All who saw her fell in love. In death, she immortalized. She will never age. Her silver screen images will never prove mortality by promoting Depends ads. She will never gain weight and move to making Jenny Craig commercials, or have children and do that kiddie film just for them. She will ever be the bombshell blonde known for her curves and whispy vibrato.
In this glorious film tribute, illustrious cast on call, Michelle Williams leads the parade exuding the vulnerability of the gauzy star and allowing us to ask the questions. Was Marilyn capable of suicide? Was she the actress she hoped she’d be? Was it all a show, a game to her? Did she know exactly what she was doing? Was her real life as enchanting as she wanted us to believe? Or, did she absently originate the term ‘dumb blonde‘ by being herself?This film raises another set of questions regarding the philosophy of classical acting versus method. Two schools of thought: I’ll call it Shakespeare Vs Stanislavsky. It’s no shock that Branaugh, known as the world’s favorite Shakespearean film lead, bests a brilliant Sir Lawrence Olivier -bucking the “method.” The whole historical grudge between these two has held in enmity over time. I believe Ryan Gosling to be an undeclared method actor. Michelle Williams is all too familiar with the man Heath Ledger who followed the method and died; many believe he died when he allowed himself to get too much into his character’s life, art, and back-story. Method actors search the resources of their minds to become their characters on and off screen in order to present the most realistic and believable performances possible. Believe it or not, Marilyn fancied herself a method actor. Ah ha! Herein lies the rub? No one claimed to know who Marilyn truly was. Couldn’t someone have saved her? I believe the journals of this film’s lead boy tell a brilliant story with no difinitive answers. But, we like suspense. Spend a week with Marilyn here and decide all for yourself.
PS. (Its “R” rating is akin to The King’s Speech (2010)…for language). Like Marilyn Monroe’s many films, the sensual tease in this film is ever apparent and acute but never acted upon. Visit Scarecrow Video in Seattle and rent one of Marilyn’s films. A few favorites include: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Monkey Business (1952), and River of No Return (1954).