The HBO documentary “Love, Marilyn”, tells the story of the actress/model using her personal writings. Though Monroe has yet to lose popularity in the arts since her death in 1962, viewers are introduced to a deeper, more personal side of the icon’s life.
In the documentary that aired Monday night, director Liz Garbus takes on a different approach than the traditional documentary style. Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe describes the film: “It’s not a traditional biographical film of the ‘American Masters’ variety, because director Liz Garbus doesn’t attempt to be all-inclusive or to impose chronology onto the material. There are only hints about Monroe’s childhood as foster child Norma Jeane Baker, and no mention of her first husband. Instead, Garbus adeptly patches together fragments of a life narrated, in a way, by Monroe herself. She inventively pieces together an impressionistic, revealing, and ultimately moving version of the story that so many of us know already.”
In addition to Monroe’s recently discovered written passages, the film incorporates photos, film clips and footage of the actress’s life. Interviews with friend Amy Greene are also included in the documentary.
In a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, Mary McNamara comments: “The film also reinforces the seductive power of theater. Having performers read Monroe’s journal entries renders these often quite mundane sentences powerful and possibly revelatory. Through these women, Monroe becomes the serious actor she longed to be.”
Marilyn Monroe continues to be one of America’s favorite icons and media topics. “Love, Marilyn” is yet another depiction of the sex icon’s short life, and it is probably safe to say that it certainly will not be the last.