Sunday, 4 December 2011

REVIEW: My Week With Marilyn

Dir.: Simon Curtis
With: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh

J’adore, j’adore, j’adore!

Movies about movies often make for the most interesting cinematic experiences, in my humble opinion. This particular one is based on the memoirs of Colin Clark (son of the famous art historian Kenneth Clark) called ‘The Prince, The Showgirl and Me’ that tell the story of his first love. What sets his first affair of the heart apart from millions of others is the fact that it happened whilst he was working as a third assistant director on the set of a film called ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ in London. Oh, and his romantic interest was Marilyn Monroe.

It was lovely seeing how the 23-year-old protagonist makes it into the film business in the first place. Patience and determination are key to the much-coveted (and unpaid) position as a gofer. Colin, however, happens to be very likable and soon becomes a trusted presence on the set. And trust is something that is quite hard to come by in this particular case. Sir Laurence Olivier, played by Kenneth Branagh, is the worst drama queen known to man. In a true diva style, he yells and curses and constantly demands something and has his own crisis of confidence. Branagh’s performance is humorous, with a tinge of irony and sadness; the two Shakespearean actors really are similar on many levels.

But it is of course Michelle Williams’s performance that has been the talk of the town lately. She does a very decent job as the iconic actress, playing her as an extremely vulnerable, insecure and very troubled human being. She also manages to mirror the playfulness and the natural charm and charisma of the real Marilyn, known and loved by millions. My only problem is that Michelle Williams is a bit, well, plain to play this part. Yes, she is blonde and has similar soft features but to me she is not nearly as pretty as Marilyn. Most importantly, she lacks the pazzazz, that je ne sais quoi that Marilyn had in abundance. Good effort overall though and very enjoyable 2 hours and 10 pounds spent.

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