More than 1,000 books and 40-odd films have been written about Marilyn Monroe since she died at 36 from an overdose. The starting point for this doc is two boxes of her papers recently discovered in storage. Are these the missing pieces of the jigsaw? The answers to lingering mysteries? Did she kill herself? Was it the Mob? No, but ‘Love, Marilyn’ blows out of the water the impression of Monroe as the helpless dumb blonde.
Behind her 15-certificate wiggle and that lazy, sexy come-on wink, Monroe was shrewd, funny and ambitious. She risked her career going into battle with Fox over equal pay (while she raked in millions for the studio, her co-stars often took home bigger pay cheques). This intelligent, sensitive doc gets a bit pretentious as today’s stars read Monroe’s words. Some, such as Viola Davis and Uma Thurman do okay. Others are cringey, trying hard to impress. Think Rada audition (sorry, Lili Taylor). Lindsay Lohan – with her trout pout – is presumably here to remind us how vapid celebs have become, and why, despite imitations galore, there will never be another Monroe.