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Love, Marilyn

The 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death has stimulated new books, TV shows and films, and Liz Garbus’ beautiful and thoughtful documentary, Love, Marilyn - a wonderful addition the 56th BFI London Film Festival.

Based on the discovery of Marilyn Monroe’s diaries and letters that were buried in Lee Strasberg’s archives, Love, Marilyn give us a personal glimpse into the blonde bombshell’s private thoughts and feelings. To be fair, there are no major revelations on the much loved star, but it is so brilliantly put together, that it doesn't matter! Familiar film clips from Marilyn’s best loved films like How to Marry a Millionaire and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes are edited in with archival material. It revisits her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller - this together with a range of actors performing the excerpts from Marilyn’s diaries, and that of her colleagues commenting on her personal and work life, all alongside excerpts from the interviews Marilyn herself gave during her life.

Azin Samari deserves a mention as this film is superbly edited. My attention never wavered, but I was completely mesmerized. Glenn Close, Uma Thurman, Viola Davis and Lindsay Lohan all contributed as Marilyn. Ben Foster plays Norman Mailer, Jeremy Piven is Elia Kazan and Hope Davis is Gloria Steinem. Adrien Brody gives a beautiful performance from an essay Truman Capote wrote about Marilyn — so eloquent and poignant.

As I said – there are no revelations about the troubled star, but I found hearing her poems so moving, and enlightening. Clearly she was not a dumb blonde, but a complex woman. She speaks about her loneliness, her ambitions, her desire for self-improvement and true love. Truly heart-breaking knowing the end of her story. Rating: 
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UK Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2012