Miroslava | Chicago Reader

Miroslava

The subject of this glossy 1992 biopic is Miroslava Stern, a Czech-born starlet who enjoyed brief fame as Mexico's Marilyn Monroe before committing suicide in 1955 at age 28. The adopted daughter of a Jewish doctor, Stern emigrated with her family to Mexico City before World War II; director Alejandro Pelayo chronicles her pampered teenage years, her distant relationship with her parents, and her disastrous love affairs, but shows little of her acting career besides a triumphant scene reenacted from Buñuel's The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz. Pelayo speculates that Stern killed herself out of loneliness, but his portrait offers more glamour and portentous music than insight. Arielle Dombasle, the talented French actress who plays Stern, is treated as a sex object, with gauzy close-ups and Playboy-like poses; one has a hard time working up tears for someone so unknowable.

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