I’ve liked Marilyn Monroe for a while. I like her because she had curves and growing up, not seeing many curvy women, it was nice hearing she was considered beautiful. I had a guy friend in college who couldn’t stand her. He hated that she played dumb. I didn’t like this fact either, but I was fascinated that the Marilyn we knew was a character she created and perfected. In the movie, her coach says to get her confidence up you are the best actress in the world (or something to that effect). She was a good actress but not the one we give her credit for.
One of my favorite lines from the movie was when she was about to meet the staff at the castle. They’re already applauding her and she asks the guy she’s with, “Shall I be her?” With that, she goes down a couple of steps and leans on the wall in her pin-up way and the crowd goes crazy. She gives them what they want because that’s what they expect. I thought it was so sad and telling. She knew she was a character and she could switch on and off.
I picked up a biography of her from the library before I saw the movie. It was so sad I didn’t finish it. I didn’t want to know all that happened to one person. It was amazing she lasted as long as she did on many levels.
She was always acting which I think many of us can relate to. When we have a bad day we’re not supposed to give in to the bad day and act how we feel. When people ask us how are you we rarely tell the truth. “I’m fine” can mean just that or “I am having the worst day imaginable”. While she was a character, her essence and energy cannot be replicated. Michelle Williams was so close but the one thing she was missing (as other people have commented on, and not in a bad way) was Marilyn’s literal je ne sais quoi. She had a helpless vulnerability only she could generate and that’s what made her Marilyn.
She wasn’t the best actress in the world but she was a good actress and did do some good work. She was a flawed person, but we all are. She had a lot going on and in many ways she did the best she could.
What do you think of Marilyn?