Wednesday, November 23, 2011
REVIEW: My Week With Marilyn
My Week With Marilyn
November 23, 2011
The Weinstein Company
1 hour 41 minutes
NOTE: I ORIGINALLY SAW THIS AT THE PHILADELPHIA FILM FESTIVAL AND THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 4, 2011
One of Hollywood's most exciting moments was when Marilyn Monroe was flying to England in order to film Laurence Oliver's production of 'The Prince and the Showgirl.' In the 90s, a man named Colin Clark released two memoirs depicting his time on the set of the film and the relationship between himself and Monroe, which happened to have lasted one week. Even before any footage was shown to the general public, the hype for this movie was fairly large, solely for Williams’ performance as Monroe. Nothing is groundbreaking in 'My Week With Marilyn,' but it may be the sweetest movie to be put out by The Weinstein Company this year. Audiences will laugh, and they'll just stare in awe as William gives a sublime performance of the iconic sex symbol. You also get great performances from 'Thor' director Kenneth Branagh, well known British actor Eddie Redmayne, and Dominic Cooper who is good in almost anything. I wouldn't exactly call 'My Week With Marilyn' a love letter to Hollywood, but the film's charm and heart make it one of the more enjoyable movies of the year. 'My Week With Marilyn' takes the heart and drama of 'The King's Speech' and molds it down into a 50s Hollywood version with the focus being on Marilyn Monroe. Nevertheless, this movie is sweet fun with some true heart and wicked performances from all.
How can you get into a review of this film and not mention Michelle Williams’ performance at all? Williams is hot off the heels of her Oscar nomination for her role in last year's 'Blue Valentine,' which I cannot see so yours truly can't make a comparison. However even though Natalie Portman killed her last year for the gold, this year should be the year of Williams. From personal experience, I have not seen 'The Prince and the Showgirl,' but I have seen 'Some Like It Hot,' so at least there is some experience had from a Monroe performance. The film's portrayal of Monroe is quite different than it would be shown in one of her films, but in terms of being accurate on emotion and humor, Williams is spot on. It's going to be very challenging to top a performance quite as captivating and moving as Williams' Monroe.
The film's supporting cast is also quite good, with Kenneth Branagh being the standout among them all. Branagh plays Sir Laurence Oliver, known in this film as the star and director of 'The Prince and the Showgirl.' He, like all of the men in this movie, has the hots for Monroe, and to see him play off of that both "on and off screen" showed how much an actor can really go. This actually isn't too surprising, considering Branagh's background of Shakespeare plays. Another great performance is the guy whose character starts the whole story: Eddie Redmayne. We Americans don't know anything about this guy, unless you either have seen him in some British movies or saw his male modeling side. However from what can be seen in this film, Redmayne has some serious acting chops. Despite being a flawed character at some parts, Redmayne shows some star potential and maybe some award success in the coming future. The rest of the supporting cast, including Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson, and Dame Judi Dench are all fantastic in this movie. Overall, everyone does a sublime job in this movie, with Williams especially deserving an Oscar nomination.
With a quirky and charming script, a modest running time, and a sublime performance from Michelle Williams, 'My Week With Marilyn' is a fun and sweet film that deserves to be seen by anyone who loves the movies and/or Ms. Monroe. While there are some minor flaws in the film, there is really nothing to hate about this movie. There's nothing confusing or sophisticated about this film like many of the Oscar movies that will be or already have come out this year; it's just a simple yet sweet movie that will captivate audiences who actually go and check it out. The cast is fantastic, and the story is grabbing, which should be what people want in their films. Oscar season is going to be very interesting this year, because many sublime movies have come out already, with many more coming in the next two months. 'My Week With Marilyn' is one of the many great movies to be coming out this year, which is all the more reason to go see this movie as soon as it starts playing near you. Plus if you for some reason hate this movie, there's always the Monroe classics like 'The Prince and the Showgirl' and 'Some Like It Hot' to help you feel better about yourself.