Originally made for cable television, this imaginative biopic chronicles the life of Marilyn Monroe (Mira Sorvino), including the years before she changed her name from Norma Jean Baker (Ashley Judd) and was transformed into the screen persona that made her a legendary sex symbol. The movie employs unconventional, dream-like storytelling ...Read MoreOriginally made for cable television, this imaginative biopic chronicles the life of Marilyn Monroe (Mira Sorvino), including the years before she changed her name from Norma Jean Baker (Ashley Judd) and was transformed into the screen persona that made her a legendary sex symbol. The movie employs unconventional, dream-like storytelling techniques in which Marilyn and her former self, Norma Jean, frequently appear in scenes together, with Norma Jean often taunting Marilyn for not living up to her earlier aspirations. Many facets of Monroe's life are examined, including her childhood and adolescence when Norma Jean had to live with foster families because of her mother's psychological problems. In addition to referencing Monroe's work on such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), and Some Like It Hot (1959), the movie explores her marriages to baseball great Joe DiMaggio (Peter Dobson) and famous playwright Arthur Miller (David Dukes), and her romances, including her purported relationship with U.S. President John F. Kennedy (Steven Culp). The film also offers a hard-hitting look at Monroe's struggle with drug- and alcohol-dependency. RoviRead Less
TITLE: Norma Jean and Marilyn
GENRE: Biographical tale
CAST: Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino
REVIEW: A broadly accurate detailing of the personal struggles of America's most famous femme fatale. Some minor holidays were taken with points that can only be conjectured about (such as the dialogue of private exchanges and some of the facts of her childhood) But, none-the-less, a riveting method of presentation is employed. Both actresses are outstanding in their commision of their parts. They even look a lot like MM at times, each showing her at different stages of facial maturity and 'adjustment'. The make-up artists are to be commended for their contribution. The costumes, which track clothing from the depression era up through the fifties for young girls, teen women and adult ladies is true to the period.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 8.5 of 10; the drawback is the questionable events portrayed as fact.
DVD BONUS: None! This is surprising as the production was by HBO in 1996 and they should have known it would be bought and watched again.