Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Week with Marilyn: Movie Review


An affair with Marilyn Monroe, but who is she?

“My Week with Marilyn” is the week-long affair with Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) for young film enthusiast Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne). It’s also a week from hell for great actor Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) as he tries to make a movie with Ms. Marilyn Monroe. It’s also a week-long glimpse into the beautiful / tragic life of the starlet-turned-starlet.

Directed by: Simon Curtis

Screenplay by: Adrian Hodges

Starring: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne and Kenneth Branagh

Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark, Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller
and Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in Simon Curtis's film
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. Photo Credit: Alliance Films.
Everybody wants to be Marilyn Monroe. Michelle Williams is Marilyn Monroe and she’s here to tell us that it isn’t all that easy. But what’s more poetic is that she isn’t here to make us feel sorry for the star, but just to show us that she wasn’t always very happy. And we don’t know whose fault that is.

There are some clever lines that let us know the issues that Marilyn is trying to work out within herself. As Colin has started to meet the real Marilyn he tells her why the film shoot with Olivier is so hard. “It’s agony because he’s a great actor who wants to be a film star, and you’re a film star who wants to be a great actress. This film won’t help either of you.” Marilyn never became the great actress that she wanted to be. Later on when Marilyn is looking at a royal doll house, she remarks, “Little girls shouldn’t be told how pretty they are. They should grow up knowing how much their mother loves them.” I think we can all guess which one adjective was repeated to Marilyn as a little girl. Not knowing the details of her life growing up, the movie did a great job of explaining what it was like for her without telling us or even showing us.

This movie is based on the journals of young Colin Clark but I wish it had more of a factual basis than just the words of a wannabe filmmaker. Recently, I’ve begun to wonder if Marilyn Monroe’s death really was suicide or if that was just the simplest term for the pathologist at the time. This film gives no doubt that a suicidal drug overdose due to depression was in her near future.

Shot with the beauty and passion that Marilyn had, “My Week with Marilyn” and the principal actors (namely Williams, Branagh, Redmayne and Dominic Cooper) captured the allure and complex essence of Marilyn Monroe.
Best of 2011


Me and Orson Welles (2008) - Perfect blend of coming-of-age and theatre.