Marilyn Monroe: Hollywood’s Paradoxical Injustice

The stories of past Oscars, especially the ‘very’ old ones, are generally more curious as, with the passage of time, some things gain perspective. Marilyn Monroe never effectively achieved the respect of her peers as an actress and still harbored resentment of her stardom from many of them. A combination that directly affected his self-esteem and professional security. In this scenario, unsurprisingly, she was never nominated for an Academy Award and was only at the party once, in 1951, to present the Best Sound Editing category.

Ironically, two of the actresses nominated for the Best Actress award in 2023 are in the select group after playing her: Ana de Armas in Blonde and Michelle Williams, who this year is nominated for The Fabelmans but was also nominated in 2011 for My Week With Marilyn. In its classic injustice, Hollywood recognizes those who imitate Marilyn but do not value the legend.

But let’s put it in perspective: in 1951, Marilyn wasn’t “Marilyn” yet, she was a rising star. He was, however, in the cast of the film that had no less than 14 nominations that night, the classic All About Eve, starring Bette Davis. One of the categories for which the film won was announced by her, who smiled proudly.

The model chosen by Marilyn for that night is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen at the party, although it appears to be more discreet and very different from the other glamorous models that highlight the star’s sensuality. Perhaps because later the models were made “for Marilyn” which was far from the case in 1951. The actress borrowed the dress from Fox’s wardrobe department, where it had been kept since it was worn by actress Valentina Cortese in the noir film The House On Telegraph Hill filmed just a few months earlier.

The black tulle model was signed by stylist Charles LeMaire, who “did a lot” in the ‘heart’ decor, using a layer of tulle to disguise what was highlighted. The tulle could be worn over the shoulders or pulled down. A dull star is a bad choice, and Charles used sequins to brighten the skirt’s many yards of fabric.

But there is drama! Just before going onstage, Marilyn noticed that her skirt was torn and was obviously nervous, after all, it was a borrowed dress and she needed the help of a seamstress on duty, who fixed the damage before she went on stage.

Funny that 60 years later, at the Oscar, Marilyn would be indirectly ‘nominated’ when in 2011, Michelle Williams became a favorite for the award for a very sensitive performance in the movie My Week With Marilyn, directed by Kenneth Branagh. Alas, she lost to Natalie Portman in Black Swan.

Fast forward to today, it is unlikely that Ana de Armas will have a chance for Blonde, especially given Michelle Yeoh‘s favoritism in 2023. I am in the group of those who hated the film, but who was in love with Ana’s work in incorporating Marilyn. Just as Austin Butler ‘was’ Elvis Presley, it’s hard to separate Ana from the real star when putting pictures or movies side by side. Her inclusion in the group of nominees turned out to be “the” award, but, tortuously, once again “Marilyn will lose”.

Not adopting any flag, but I think a woman is missing doing the definitive work on the biggest star that Hollywood has produced. Yes, Blonde is a book by a female author, but one who only used her trajectory to highlight other problems in the industry, to create almost criminal fiction and misrepresent a person who once had a bitter life. Both Blonde and My Week with Marilyn have a strong male hand in the narrative, one that suffocates her in memory as she suffocated in life, placing her in the box of unbalanced, abused, and in constant crisis. I’m not saying that Marilyn was the pillar of mental health, far from it, but I try to listen to her in her interviews, which are always candid, with excellent analyzes and a very clear pain of misunderstanding. In her last interview she made a single appeal – “Don’t make me look like a joke” – and sadly, 61 years after her death, we remain deaf to the real Marilyn Monroe.

Faced with this injustice, seeing that for the second time who interprets her has recognition, gives me hope that in a short day, finally, Marilyn will have her voice heard and her pure and simple desire to be respected and recognized, will be achieved. Unfortunately, it will not be in 2023…


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