Love, Marilyn

Cast (alphabetical): F. Murray Abraham, Elizabeth Banks, Adrien Brody, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Hope Davis, Viola Davis, Jennifer Ehle, Ben Foster, Paul Giamatti, Jack Huston, Stephen Lang, Lindsay Lohan, Janet McTeer, Jeremy Piven, Oliver Platt, David Strathairn, Lili Taylor, Uma Thurman, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood

Written By: Liz Garbus, with excerpts by: Marilyn Monroe, Billy Wilder, Truman Capote, Arthur Miller, Natasha Lytess, Norman Mailer, Norman Rosten, Gloria Steinem, and Ralph Greenson

Directed By: Liz Garbus

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Release Date: September 12, 2012 (Toronto International Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated (“R” type content)


The life of Marilyn Monroe is told via the writings of those who knew her, as well as her own journals and letters discovered in storage. Said writings are recited/interpreted by a long list of actors. There is also a fair amount of archival footage.

Adrien’s Role: himself/reader

Adrien recites lines from a book Truman Capote wrote about Marilyn Monroe. He has a good voice for that sort of thing. There really isn’t a lot to say about his “performance” here, as it’s only a few lines from a novel.

It’s interesting that this documentary came up now, as Adrien has a role in Netflix’s Monroe semi-biopic Blonde, which comes out in about 10 days.

My Complaint

Overall, Love, Marilyn is well put together and informative. My main issue is with how crowded it gets, for lack of a better term.

Each author’s works are assigned to one actor (Adrien reading for Capote, Ben Foster for Norman Mailer, etc). However, when it comes to Marilyn’s own words (from diaries and letters), they’re divided up among several actors. It becomes dizzying at a certain point. It’s much easier to follow when one actor is assigned to the words of one person.

I’m not sure why this choice was made, other than to give a bunch of actors a chance to impersonate Monroe’s mannerisms. It would have been much better if, say, Viola Davis or Glenn Close recited Marilyn’s words the whole time. Several of them tried too hard to sound or act like her, whereas Davis and Close (and a couple of others) let the words have their impact.


Movie Overall: 5/10
Brody Perfomance: 6/10, I guess. It’s hard to say.


Author: Patricia Henderson

Patricia Henderson is a 40-something from Northern California. She has loved both movies and writing since she was a child, so this was a logical choice.

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