Newest Review: ... think anything has been documented so recently that I would be familiar with. The films main storyline is simple, it follows Colin an... more
A beautiful film
My Week with Marilyn (DVD)
Member Name: walsha11
My Week with Marilyn (DVD)
Advantages: plot, cast, Marilyn, set, design, true story
Disadvantages: Emma Watson
I bought this film because for a new release it was pretty cheap in Asda and having missed it in the cinema I was keen to watch it. I'm not especially interested in Marilyn Monroe though from what I do know she was a fascinating and complex individual.
The film was released in 2011 and quickly received critical acclaim. Michelle Williams, for her performance as Marilyn, won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award. The high accolades the film has received, and Michelle Williams in particular, meant I had high hopes for the film. It is based upon two books by Colin Clark which tell the true story of his week with Marilyn Monroe. He worked as an assistant for a film company who happened to be producing 'The Prince and the Showgirl' in 1957. The film, starring Marilyn and Laurence Olivier, was shot in England and though she was originally accompanied by her then husband, Arthur Miller, he soon left to return to America. During the time that he was away Colin and Marilyn became very close and for a time brief time she depended on him to rebuff her insecurities.
The film follows this storyline to the letter. Colin (Eddie Redmayne) is an aspiring film maker and landing a role as glorified gopher on a film set it put to work getting the stars, crew and production company anything they need. Marilyn is constantly with a large entourage, including Zoe Wanamaker as acting coach Paula Strasberg and Dominic Cooper as her business partner Milton H. Greene. Marilyn is insecure and demanding, insisting that Paula must assist her on set and this demanding behaviour creates a real presence on set. Judi Dench plays her co-star Sybil Thorndike who is more sympathetic towards Marilyn than the frustrated Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Brannagh).
Colin is in awe of Marilyn from the beginning and though he is dating Lucy (Emma Watson) his attraction to Marilyn is clear for all to see. When Marilyn comes across what she interprets to be deprecating notes about her in Arthur Miller's (Dougray Scott) notebook they have a huge fight and Miller leaves the following day. Marilyn is left alone and though being constantly medicated by her assistants she is clearly lonely and struggling with life in England. The reassurance than Colin offers her is invaluable to Marilyn and they spend a few days of intimacy in each others company. Colin relishes this time but when Marilyn claims to have had a miscarriage she cuts of all contact with him and tells him she will not see him again. Colin is clearly heartbroken and confused by Marilyn's rebuffs. Upon finishing the film Marilyn comes to see Colin and kisses him goodbye before she leaves for America. The time they spent together was brief but for Colin it clearly marks a turning point in his romantic life.
The cast in this film are simply incredible. Michelle Williams truly embodies the spirit of Marilyn, her fragility and sensitivity is elegantly portrayed whilst her wit and skill as an actress contrasts beautifully. There are also outstanding performances from from other cast members that help create a tangible sense of the 50s film industry and Marilyn's life in particular. The only character I really disliked was Emma Watson's portrayal of Lucy. I actually really dislike her anyway as she always comes across as self-important and smarmy in interviews so I was probably destined to dislike her and her character. That said, there doesn't seem much depth to her performance and compared to the brilliant performances from established actors she sinks into the background.
The film is only 99 minutes long which makes it short and sweet in my opinion. There is just enough of a storyline to keep you entranced, and Marilyn helps to hold the viewers attention perfectly. I thought the true life story was dealt with sensitively and reverently, with a great deal of respect for the characters involved.
I paid £7.00 for this film from Asda which is fairly cheap for what is quite a recent film. I really loved the sense of time and place in the film, it is very atmospheric and truly represents the period in which it is set. The feel also beautifully captures the complexity of life in the spotlight for such a loved and revered film star. Her personality is multi-faceted and constantly evolving throughout the film. You never truly know how she feels about Colin and in this way the film perfectly encapsulates the essence of the story in real life, which is ambiguous and open to interpretation.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would recommend it to you. I had high expectations based on the critical acclaim but I had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did, for that it gets five stars.
Summary: A brilliant film that took me by surprise.