Based on The New York Times bestseller of the same name by J. Randy Taraborrelli, this movie proves that sometimes, Lifetime will actually put money into their movies. Or mini-series. You know what I mean. This is about as A-list as this channel is ever going to get, but of course, it’s not to be afraid to be totally scummy to, which is exactly as you like it.
Kelli Garner is Marilyn as we take the journey of her life from Norma Jean to the most famous actress in the world, along with the trials, tribulations, loves and hates. Sadly for those Anton LaVey fans out there, we never see him show up — if so, I would have thrown my Roku remote in the air and danced under it like a majorette — but all of her most important lovers show up.
Somehow, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the trivia answer to who played Joe DiMaggio and Negan from The Walking Dead. Maybe he’s good with baseball bats. Another Grey’s Anatomy star, Giacomo Gianniotti, plays Marilyn’s first wife, Jimmy Dougherty. And then there’s Stephen Bogaert as Arthur Miller, Marilyn’s third husband.
Susan Sarandon is great as Gladys Monroe Mortenson, Marilyn’s mother, who owns big chunks of this movie with her certified insanity. And Emily Watson is really good as Grace McKee, Marilyn’s foster mother, who didn’t take any medicine due to her religion and still killed herself with a drug overdose.
It’s all held together by a therapist leading Marilyn through the journey of her life on the last day she’s alive. If you know the story of Marilyn well enough, you’re not going to be surprised by anything. Joe DiMaggio definitely comes off horribly in this one. Nearly everyone does.