The story of American actress Marilyn Monroe, covering her love and professional lives.The story of American actress Marilyn Monroe, covering her love and professional lives.The story of American actress Marilyn Monroe, covering her love and professional lives.
What a truly disappointing film this is. It offers us a really slow, sterile and disjointed - almost episodic - depiction of just how Marilyn Monroe's life might have panned out. For a start, I couldn't decide whether Ana de Armas was really Lady Gaga or Scarlett Johansson (both of whom would have acquitted themselves better, I'd say) as she offers an admittedly intense, but remarkably uninvolved performance. We move along from chapter to chapter in her life hindered by some fairly weak and uninspiring dialogue and seriously intrusive scoring in what becomes an increasingly shallow and lacklustre fashion. The photography does try hard - it does offer us a sense of intimacy, but the whole thing is presented in such a stylised and un-natural manner that it is frequently difficult to tell whether she is/was a "real" woman. Her marriages are treated in an almost scant manner - and her relationship with JFK is reduced to something rather implausibly one-sided and sordid showing nothing of how their relationship might have come to be. It has no soul, this film. Aside from her glamour - which was, even then, hardly unique we are not really introduced to any of the nuances of her character, we are left guessing a lot of the time as to just how she did become such a superstar, and how she spiralled so inevitably into a maelstrom of booze and pills. It relies to a considerable extent on the viewer's existing knowledge of, and affection for, this flawed lady. Adrien Brody and Bobby Cannavale don't really have much chance to add anything as her husbands and the highly speculative relationship between her and Charlie Chaplin Jnr (Xavier Samuel) and his sexually ambiguous partner-in-crime Edward G Robinson Jr (Scoot McNairy) does suggest something of the rather profligate and debauched existence that some lived in Hollywood, but again their characters are also largely undercooked and again, we are largely left to use our own imagination. It is far, far too long and in a packed cinema, I could see people looking at the ceiling just once too often. Watchable, certainly, but a real missed opportunity to offer us something scintillating and tantalising about this most of iconic of women.
- Sep 24, 2022
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