I remember when I was in Hollywood a few years ago and was on the Walk of Fame. Out of all of the stars, the one that I saw the most people taking pictures of and literally laying next to on the (dirty) street was Marilyn Monroe. It was actually quite astonishing that after all of these years Marilyn Monroe still captures the psyche of people. She is the quintessential icon of classic Hollywood and the epitome of a timeless sex symbol. At times I feel that the idea and persona of Marilyn Monroe is actually more alluring than her movies.
When I watched “My Week with Marilyn” I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it was critically acclaimed and Michelle Williams was nominated for an Academy Award. However, in this day and age (at least to me) accolades and praise from the critics do not really hold a lot of water.
I have to say that this movie is really a breathe of fresh air. It is different from a lot of the same cookie cutter movies coming out today. The film is based on the memoir(s) by Colin Clark about his personal experience with Marilyn Monroe while she filmed “The Prince & the Showgirl” in London. During the production of this film Clark and Monroe developed a kinship and a semi-romantic relationship…at least according to Clark’s accounts. In addition, the movie also displays the production and grapples of filming “The Prince & the Showgirl” and at about 98 minutes not a moment is wasted.
I found the acting in this movie to be superb. Michelle Williams really did an amazing job in her portrayal of Monroe; right down to mannerisms, delivery of dialogue and appearance. I must be honest; there were some scenes where Michelle Williams was a dead ringer (the cover of the DVD for instance) for Marilyn Monroe and other scenes where she looked nothing like her. I realize this might be nitpicking, but I feel it should be noted. Regardless, this takes nothing away from Williams’ performance. Actually, I have more respect for her as an actress after this movie; she even sang all of the songs. Kenneth Branagh was amazing (as always) as Laurence Olivier and Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark was also wonderful. I have a hard time believing this is the same Redmayne from the film “Black Death”! Also look for good supporting roles from Judi Dench, Julia Ormond and Emma Watson.
There have been so many “stories” about Marilyn Monroe that don’t paint her in a positive light, this movie manages to show a very multi-leveled depiction of her. The movie itself plays out like a comedy-drama and is able to be both innocent and melancholy. The film does a wonderful job of detaining 1956 and showing an era that is long gone. The score is also beautiful and haunting.
I have heard some people condemned Clark’s accounts with Monroe finding it dubious, stating that it was fabricated and fluffed up. I don’t know if that is true or not, I wasn’t there. Regardless truth or embellished, it is a great story and for that fact a wonderful movie. I can definitely see myself revisiting this motion picture in the future. I recommend this movie to anyone who truly enjoys the “art of cinema”.
When Colin Clark, the wealthy son of a nobleman, was twenty-three, he worked as a third assistant director for Sir Laurence Olivier on the set of THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL. The movie co-starred Olivier as the Prince and Marilyn Monroe as the Showgirl. Olivier hired Monroe as his co-star because he was intending the movie to be the film that would ignite his career with American audiences. Monroe was hoping the experience of working with the illustrious Olivier in an English production would help … more
The troubled production of “The Prince and the Showgirl” in 1957, as seen through the eyes of a young crewman, focuses on the emotionally fragile Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams). Her crippling lack of confidence infuriates the film’s director and co-star Lawrence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), but third assistant director Colin (Eddie Redmayne) finds the lady enchanting and wants only to protect her. This is a sweet movie, well-acted all-around. Williams … more
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN Written by Adrian Hodges Directed by Simon Curtis Starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne and Kenneth Branagh Marilyn Monroe: All people see is Marilyn Monroe. As soon as they realize I’m not her, they run away. In 1956, one of the biggest stars and sex symbols the world has ever known travelled to England to make a movie with one of the world’s most respected stage actors. Somewhere in the middle of the inevitable chaos and drama that ensued, … more
By Joan Alperin Schwartz When the film 'My Week With Marilyn' directed by Simon Curtis, begins...we see Marilyn Monroe on a stage singing 'That Ole Black Magic'...That's who I thought it was, anyway. It actually took me a few seconds before realizing that I was watching not Monroe, but Michelle Williams...That's how good she is in her portrayal of the damaged, insecure, … more
It is rather brisk in this field. The leaves are descending like a tapestry of aloof dreams. The wind entices these leaves into a plume of whimsical billowing ontological paradox. Then I recall that I … more