Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Now on Netflix: My Week with Marilyn (2011)

My Week with Marilyn (2011) - Directed by Simon Curtis; Written by Adrian Hodges; Starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond, Emma Watson.

By Kenny Howell

Despite good performances, I can't really get past the fact that I think this story is completely made up.

The story comes from the book by Colin Clark, an assistant on the Laurence Olivier/Marilyn Monroe movie The Prince and the Showgirl. Clark claims that he spent a week with Marilyn Monroe where they were best buds, she loved him, he got to see her naked, she kissed him and all this stuff that men during this era would love to say.

But I never once bought that any of this actually happened. Obviously Monroe couldn't corroborate his story, or Olivier. It just seems weird that this lowly assistant would be such best buds with not only the director, which makes a little more sense since he was his assistant, but the biggest movie star in the world who was recently married.

All that aside, the movie itself is an interesting fantasy. I like the look at the filmmaking process during the era, and it's cool to see some legends portrayed on screen.

I am indifferent about Williams' portrayal of Marilyn. While I think she captured the persona of Monroe that people know, I can't believe Monroe was like that in her normal, everyday life. She seems flighty, obviously the drugs didn't help, but also kind of simple, but a simpleness that seems on purpose to attract men. I understand that was her appeal, but was it always on? I feel like the portrayal was just of what people wanted Monroe to be, not who she was. I have no way to prove that, obviously, I didn't know Monroe, and I never saw her with the camera off. But it lends itself to that fantasy aspect of her. However, Williams is good at portraying that fantasy. So, yeah, indifference all around.

My Week with Marilyn is available on Netflix, Redbox, Amazon Instant, iTunes and is currently playing on Showtime.

Rating: **1/2

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