Sunday, November 27, 2011
My Week with Marilyn: A Love Letter to Miss Monroe
My Week with Marilyn is a small film about a true event. Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) goes to England to film The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier, (Kenneth Branagh), and there she meets a young man by the name of Colin Clark, and she lets him into her world. She flirts with him. She's vulnerable with him. She's sexy with him. She's coy. She's destructive. She's pathetic. She's irrational. She's all encompassing, and he can't resist her. She's also married to Arthur Miller (played by an unrecognizable Dougray Scott). But this brief love affair doesn't go further than a few kisses, and is all rather innocent.
The film's plot is simple and on the thin side, but what it lacks for story more than makes up for it with the performances. Everyone is great in their roles. The era and look of a 1950's film set is perfect. The costumes are rich and textured, and the look of the film sucks you into a bygone era. And as almost all critics have noted, Michelle Williams does a superb job as Marilyn Monroe. (An Oscar nomination is sure to come). Williams embodies the spirit of Marilyn, and she disappears into the role. Even though she's not technically the lead, she takes over whenever she's on screen. Perhaps a fault of the film is that the lead, Colin Clark, played by Eddie Redmayne, is a bit of a bore and he's more reactive in the role than active. It's really all about Marilyn and when Williams is on screen, you can't take your eyes off her.
Overall the film is sweet and has a delicate touch towards its characters and its look. It doesn't shed any real new ground on Monroe's life, so if you're a die hard fan you probably learn nothing new, and if you're newer to Marilyn, you might get a better understanding into why she was so intoxicating to those around her, and why she's stood the test of time to become an icon.
P.S. Emma Watson does a great job in a small role as a wardrobe girl who falls for Colin. She's slowly inching away from her Hermione persona.