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It's very easy to like this movie. It's a historical movie about an Hollywood icon, with some big names attached to it as well. However it's a movie that tells you absolutely nothing with its story, or about any of the people that are in it.

You shouldn't really see this movie as a biopic really. It's simply a movie that happens to feature Marilyn Monroe in it (as well as a couple of other well known Hollywood icons) but it's not one that tells you anything about her life or career. So please don't watch this movie expecting to learn anything about her. Instead this movie only makes her a bigger mystery and this movie really raises more questions about her that it provides any answers, to anything.

In my opinion this movie does a poor job at capturing the beauty and magic of Marilyn Monroe. After watching this movie you really wouldn't understand what the appeal about her was, if you hadn't already seen some movies featuring the real Marilyn Monroe in it. In this movie she only comes across as a confused, naive and very unhappy person, that is lacking in confidence and can't even seem to read or act. It's hard to understand her character in this movie, since the movie doesn't provide you with any background. It really doesn't do much justice to the person, actress, icon, sex symbol, legend that Marilyn Monroe once was.

In that regard I also really don't understand what this movie was trying to accomplish. It's not a biopic and it's also really not telling you a intriguing or interesting enough story of its own, to make this a maintaining enough movie. It's a quite bland movie, with a bland story and characters in it. The story really isn't telling you anything and so aren't its characters.

It really didn't help the movie that it constantly had a made for TV look and feel to it. No big surprise after I learned that director Simon Curtis prior to this movie had only directed stuff for TV. Also the pace and approach to its story and characters constantly reminded me of a TV series or that of a mini-series.

Thing that annoyed me was how some characters popped up out of nowhere and also suddenly disappeared again after a while. Seriously, what was the point of having Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh in this, for instance? But this even was the case with some of its main characters. The movie seems to be lacking focus at times and allows its story to jump all over the place at points. The one moment it is purely focusing on the production and shooting of the movie "The Prince and the Showgirl", in which Marilyn Monroe starred with Sir Laurence Olivier, while at others it seems like they aren't shooting a movie at all and the movie is suddenly taking placing at totally different locations, with all of its drama and characters.

No, I wasn't even all that impressed with its acting. Or maybe this was also because the actors looked nothing like the persons they were supposed to be portraying. Sorry to say but Michelle Williams is far too lifeless and not nearly half as sensual as Marilyn Monroe was. Because of that, she never became convincing enough in her role and it also constantly took me out of the movie. Same goes for Kenneth Branagh, who looks absolutely nothing like Sir Laurence Olivier, who is one of my favorite actors of all time (Sir Laurence Olivier that is).

It's not a very interesting movie to watch and not a very entertaining one either. In my opinion it's really a movie that never truly succeeds at what is is trying to accomplish.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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