Movie Reviews: My Week With Marilyn (2011)

Posted: May 5, 2012 in Drama
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Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) is the son of Sir Kenneth Clark (Pip Torrens) and Lady Jane Clark. (Geraldine Sommervile)  Colin will do anything to break into the movie business.  He waits every day inside Sir Lawrence Olivier’s (Kenneth Branaugh) production offices, and finally lands a job as Olivier’s third assistant  on Olivier’s movie The Prince and the Showgirl.  Colin starts dating the wardrobe girl. Lucy (Emma Watson) but also begins to interact with Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) and her entourage, her husband Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) acting coach, Paula Strassberg, (Zoe Wannamaker)  Marilyn’s agent Arthur Jacobs  (Toby Jones) and photographer, Milton Greene (Dominic Cooper) The constant bickering between Olivier and Monroe, adds pressure to Monroe’s already fragile psyche.  When Marilyn finds a notebook full of disparaging things about her written by Miller, she starts to lean more and more on the younger Colin.

Milton warns Colin not to fall in love with Marilyn, Milton’s been down that road before and it didn’t end well for him.  But it’s too late for Colin, he’s already over the moon for Marilyn.  Colin takes Marilyn to Buckingham Palace (he as a godfather who works there) and to Eaton, where Colin went to school.  The vulnerable Marilyn eats up the praise and loves the idea of flirting with a younger man. And Colin is willing to give up everything and marry Marilyn.  But where exactly is this relationship going?  Does Colin find his bearings and go back to Lucy or get his heart broken?

I loved this movie.  I don’t know how much of this movie is true.  I don’t know if any of this is true, but the movie works as fact or fairytale, it works.  I doubt that Colin Clark was so cool and composed in front of the biggest movie star ever, but that’s a moot point, any guy anywhere in the world would have loved to be in Colin’s shoes.  Michelle Williams is very good as Marilyn, there are times when the voice slips and the cadence slips, but overall a very good performance in a very tough role.  As good as Williams was, Kenneth Branaugh absolutely shines as Lawrence Olivier, the fights on the set of that movie are epic.  I couldn’t tell if Olivier wanted to fire Marilyn or sleep with her.  Branaugh plays Olivier with equal parts lust and jealousy, and he is terrific.  Eddie Redmayne is also good as the starstruck Clark, willing to risk a broken heart to spend time with a goddess.  The supporting cast is also very good, and gives the movie structure.

My week with Marilyn.  No weaknesses here.

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