Love, Marilyn

Nearly 50 years after her death, two boxes of Marilyn Monroe’s private writings and musings were discovered in the home of her acting coach. These papers, brought to life in this innovative documentary film by some of our contemporary icons and stars, give us a new understanding of Monroe — revealing her carefully guarded inner life. Featuring Elizabeth Banks, Lindsay Lohan, Evan Rachel Wood, Ben Foster, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti, Viola Davis, Jeremy Piven, Ellen Burstyn, Adrien Brody, Marisa Tomei and Glenn Close. [courtesy of TIFF]

Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper

Privilege, love, loss, and survival are all deftly examined in Nothing Left Unsaid, which turns a lens on the expansive life of Gloria Vanderbilt. At 91, Vanderbilt herself provides a rich living history on the experience of growing up within a storied American family. Her youngest son, Anderson Cooper, peppers his still-vibrant mother on camera with questions about her complex public and private personas. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]

What Happened, Miss Simone?

A classically trained musical genius, chart-topping chanteuse, and Black Power icon, Nina Simone is one of the most influential, beloved, provocative, and least understood artists of our time. On stage, she was known for utterly free, rapturous performances, earning her the epithet “High Priestess of Soul.” But amid the violent, day-to-day fight for civil rights, she struggled to reconcile artistic ambition with her fierce devotion to a movement. Director Liz Garbus sensitively explores the constant state of opposition that trapped and tortured Simone—as a classical pianist pigeonholed in jazz, as a professional boxed in by family life, as a black woman in racist America—and in so doing, reveals a towering figure transcending categorization and her times. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]