Tuesday, March 06, 2012

"North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe..."

Yesterday we saw My Week With Marilyn.  I thought it was a fine film, with very good acting, and overall I enjoyed it. However, it got me thinking about something I have never understood: Marilyn Monroe.

I don't mean someone I have never understood, because I'm not really referring to the person. I mean the whole Marilyn Monroe thing. I have never been able to relate to the fascination with this woman, and it has always mystified me. I feel like when it comes to the Marilyn-Monroe-magic-spell, there's everyone in the world and then there's me.

It might start with the hair, quite frankly. I mean, here's this woman who is supposed to be the ultimate sex symbol, the most beautiful, alluring, recklessly charming, perfect encapsulation of all that is sexy, and I just can't get past the hair. It's a hideous shade of fake blonde that I'm not entirely sure would look nice on anybody, and secondly, it's short. I don't care for short hair and I generally don't find that it makes a woman sexier, or more beautiful, let alone the sexiest or the most beautiful. In fact, I can't think of anyone with short hair that I would consider to be ultimately sexy. Long hair just looks better. (And prettier, for sure.) So I suppose the idea of Marilyn Monroe being a supremely beautiful woman was always lost on me, for this and other reasons.

So then, OK, so she acts in movies and is charming, but by all accounts is a total pain in the ass, racked with insecurities and a fragility act. And she manipulates people and acts this whole persona so that no one ever really knows the whole person and then - surprise, surprise - she takes all these pills, and dies early and tragically. I mean, really? She's a walking cliche, so it's interesting that she is considered so very special. I mean, just objectively speaking.

Anyway, the movie My Week With Marilyn contemplates a few of these issues, not that it ever stands up and screams "Get over yourself" and/or "Get over her" to everyone around herself. But it is very interesting and I totally and completely see why Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh were nominated for Oscars. Branagh was great as Laurence Olivier. The interaction of the cast of great actors in this film was wonderful and fun to watch.

Brian and I desperately need to catch up on all the 2011 movies we missed while living in Andong, and so I declared a goal of watching 40 movies in March. We have watched three so far since March 1st: Hugo, My Week With Marilyn, and The Descendants.  (We launched our catch-up project when we watched The Artist, but that was on February 29. Should I count it?)  It may seem like I'm off to a slow start, but we will be back in Phoenix for a while, and I am going to be a theater-goin', Netflixin' fiend. I will totally get to see 40 movies this month. Just you watch!

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