Because Marilyn Monroe is the most misunderstood icon in the world

Hollywood has amplified its sex-pot image. Promoting the lead role in Niagara (1953), her slogan dripped with allusions: “Marilyn Monroe and Niagara, a torrent of emotions that not even nature can contain”. Her name was given top marks and her image was a massive presence on most of the posters. “If you were born with what the world calls sex appeal, you can either let it destroy you or use it to take advantage of show business in the tough fight. It’s not always easy to choose the right path,” Marilyn told The Chicago Tribune in 1952. That same year, one of her most enduring performances, that of captivating gold digger Lorelei Lee in Men Prefer Blondes, would cement her into the silly blonde character that Marilyn found so frustrating and limiting. “She’s merged with Lorelei Lee,” Bolton thinks, “she felt like she was constantly in these silly blonde musical comedies, but even in those roles she’s smart and cunning. There’s something about Monroe-isms.” Her image of her may have made her famous, but her talent made it last. Her determination to be taken seriously led her to New York, the Actor’s Studio and Method Acting. Even at the peak of her popularity, although her efforts were derided, a whole book (a whole book!) Was published in 1956 entitled “Will Acting Ruin Marilyn Monroe?” Biographical films choose to weaken her further by forgetting the central part of the story, the part where she became a very successful and well-paid actress, challenged Fox for underpaid her, and founded her own production company with Milton Greene, Marilyn. Monroe Productions. “I’m not at all sure that people perceive her as an actress,” says Nehme, noting that if you look at the actual work, “you start to see how unique and intelligent her choices are, to make it fun possible.”

The only exception, perhaps, is My Week with Marilyn (2011), a light interpretation of the troubled realization of The Prince and the Dancer (1957), the only film produced by Marilyn Monroe Productions, told from the point of view of reality. . vita, the in love set assistant Colin Clark, on whose memoirs the film is based. With Marilyn played by Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, the film is truly part of the book and movie subgenre “Marilyn and me”, which also includes Marilyn & Me: A Photographer’s Memories, My Sister Marilyn and on-screen Calendar Girl (1993) and Marilyn and I (1991). However, this is the only example that even attempts to recreate Marilyn’s charm, not just her fickle and unreliable antics on set. Williams captures Marilyn’s sensuality without leaning into her sex character. There are hints of the darkness she will consume her in the foreseeable future, but she focuses on work and pushing, as well as the crippling insecurity that Marilyn somehow found a way to turn into moments of pure comic gold.

There is hope, however. I believe there is a generational shift that is inspiring a reassessment of Marilyn Monroe: “As film critics got younger, they got back to work. They are very interested in the role she played in creating their own character.” Dominik might. being surprised, as he suggested in a recent interview with Sight and Sound, that people still watch (and have fun) Gentlemen prefer blondes, but they’re not. The image of him may be universally familiar now, but discovering Marilyn’s performances is always a revelation. About her Her feline femininity in Niagara, her shy awkwardness in The Prince and the Showgirl and her wise pronunciation of all-time jokes in Men Prefer Blondes. Marilyn’s awareness of how she was perceived permeates every performance and informs every choice. While she may not capture Marilyn’s star power, the best thing Blonde can do for her is inspire more people to look at her real work than she does.

Blonde is now out in select theaters in the US and UK and is released worldwide on Netflix on September 28.

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