Review of "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" on Lifetime From The TV MegaSite

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Kelli Garner and Susan Sarandon

"The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" review by Suzanne 5/24/15
World Premiere May 30 & 31 at 8/7c on Life

I'm not going to say that this is a great movie, but it's a good one, and it's very enjoyable. If you're not a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe (have seen all of the other biopics, read books about her, etc.) then you'll probably learn something about Marilyn Monroe, AKA Norma Jean Baker, and her life. This is based on a book, so I have no idea how true the story is, but it's certainly interesting. I didn't know that Joe Dimaggio hit her, for instance.

The best thing about the movie is Susan Sarandon, who plays her mom. Apparently, Marilyn's mom and grandmother both had mental problems (schizophrenia), and Marilyn also had it (although the movie never really says whether it's because she was also taking lots of drugs or not). It seems like, for the most part, Marilyn's work was not affected either by the drugs, the alcohol, or the mental illness. I also didn't know that she was a good friend of JFK's sister.

All of the performances are great, though, not just Ms. Sarandon. Kelli Garner does a very fine job as Marilyn. She doesn't really look that much like her (more so when she's all dolled up like her), but she certainly has the style and manners down, and she's a really good actress.  Emily Watson does a good job as her surrogate mom, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is fine as Joe. The script is good and the movie is much better than that recent Whitney Houston biopic. I think anyone will enjoy it.  Make sure to check it out!


The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe - Miniseries Event

Academy Award Winner Susan Sarandon and Kelli Garner as Marilyn
with Jeffery Dean Morgan and Golden Globe Nominee Emily Watson

Premieres May 30 and May 31, at 8pm

Based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe begins with a portrait of a young Norma Jeane Mortenson as she battles a lonely and loveless existence with an absent mother. Despite the odds, Norma Jeane blossoms into a funny, smart and ambitious woman and soon reinvents herself to become the symbol of an era. She revels in stardom, yet remains a fragile artist, desperate for the approval and protection of men. The outside world never truly sees or understands the real Marilyn, a woman so different from her public persona. As her fame grows, all three of her marriages crumble beneath her quite publicly, including her relationships with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. Ultimately, Marilyn could never control her inner demons and the onslaught of mental illness inherited from her mother, Gladys – a woman she loves, hates and wants desperately to save. Although the studio told the world that Marilyn's mother was dead, it is the great secret of Marilyn’s life that Gladys remained a vital and troubling part of her world. As Marilyn cares for her mother, her obsession with President John F. Kennedy drives her over the edge and, ultimately, into an insane asylum. Still, as Marilyn Monroe soldiers on, she gives the performance of her life, successfully hiding her darkest secrets from the world.

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