'The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe' [DVD+ Digital]
(Susan Sarandon, Kelli Garner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Emily Watson, et al / DVD / NR / 2015 / LGF)
Overview: A chronicle of Marilyn Monroe's family life and how she succeeded in hiding her most intimate secrets from the press and an invasive world.
DVD Verdict: Robert Mitchum said it best about his friend and coworker when he said that Marilyn's biggest mistake was that she "burlesqued it", and burlesque was a slippery slope in Hollywood at that time. Monroe played burlesque so well, people believed it. Unfortunately MM was probably not equipped to withstand the foul misogyny that went along with post war attitudes toward any woman who was not properly corseted and house dressed, into submission.
If Marilyn Monroe wouldn't have conjured the wherewithal to crack the studio system in 1950, she'd have ended up a depressed and divorced house wife in the Valley, with a mentally ill mother to support. For those of us who have dealt with mental illness in the family, this show is treading on new ground. That is the zeitgeist that Garner and Sarandon nail. Monroe was a fish out of water, which is the reason why we are all mesmerized to this day. For better or for worse she was her own woman, with no peer, before or since.
It is also worth mentioning that the costumes, makeup and set designs are spot on. The dreamy and disconcerting saturated colors and Noir lighting become good compliments to the spirit of the production and add good tension. Ergo, kudos to Garner who did her homework and made this old MM aficionado squirm in his seat a few times, for all of the right reasons. DiMaggio probably said it best, by saying nothing and letting his actions do the talking. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.
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