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
Intoxicating beauty. A film masterpiece
My Week with Marilyn (DVD)
Member Name: carlz2001uk
My Week with Marilyn (DVD)
Advantages: Williams, bio, great cast
Disadvantages: Watson wasn't the best choice for her role
Surprisingly to me, Marilyn isn't actually the lead character, yes she gets a lot of screen time, but the main character is Colin Clark. Perhaps had I taken a little more notice of the title, I may have been able to work this one out for myself, but this was another thing that passed me by. Colin Clark is actually a real filmmaker and this is his story of, you've guessed it, his week with Marilyn. Clark released two diary accounts of his time on set with Marilyn during production of The Prince and the Showgirl, and Director Simon Curtis originally tried to get this made into a film in 2004 but interestingly he couldn't drum up enough interest, as Marilyn was considered too iconic and too familiar for the film to work. I disagree, as obviously the Producer eventually did, as although I am aware of the iconic status of Monroe, and have seen endless photos and one or two documentaries here and there, I have never actually seen a film about her. I'm sure they exist, however being only 29, I don't think anything has been documented so recently that I would be familiar with.
The films main storyline is simple, it follows Colin and his bid to work in the film industry, despite his wealthy family believing it is a phase he is going through. At first he struggles to find anyone willing to employ him as he has practically no experience, but in the end his commitment to the industry shines through and he is given a job as 3rd Director (or gofer) by Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh). He soon finds himself on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, and is given seemingly menial jobs such as finding Monroe and her husband, Arthur Miller a suitable home to stay in during production. He soon finds himself in the company of Monroe, and we see just how innocent and delicate this iconic woman really was. I don't really know where to begin in explaining Williams and her portrayal of Monroe, but I will start out by saying it is Oscar worthy. Her portrayal is outstanding and I completely forgot that I was watching the actress who started out in Dawson's Creek. Her portrayal of Monroe is brilliant, she manages to capture the innocence of Monroe who relies whole heartedly on the people around her, and who falls so easily at the smallest hurdle. I didn't realise Monroe had this side to her and it was quite devastating to watch, despite it not actually being her. It's easy for me (with limited knowledge of Monroe) to see through Williams' portrayal, why Monroe met her fate in the way she did.
Williams is able to switch from the innocent, very delicate and shy individual she obviously was, to the sexy, confident woman that her fans and the world believed she was. One of my favourite parts of the film see's her go from being a quiet woman in the company of Clark, but when she sees her fans she turns to Clark and say's 'Shall I be her now?', turning round and pouting, blowing kisses and generally becoming the sexy Marilyn she was known for. Williams manages both personas to a tea and oozes sex appeal when it is needed. She gets the sultry voice easily (although I am sure this was with much practice and help from a vocal coach and hundreds of hours of watching Marilyn on tape). Even the way she moves seems to be in line with the 'real' Monroe and one scene at the very end where she does this sexy little dance was perfection and I'm such took Williams lots of practice.
I was quite surprised to see Emma Watson in this film, as the alternative love interest for Clark. For me, this let the film down. I'm not the greatest fan of Watson, however I don't dislike her, but she came across as too young for this part and I just didn't believe for a second that Clark would be interested in her. Dominic Cooper also has a nice, if not small, part in the film, as Marilyn's business partner. He was great in this, but after seeing him in Devils Double (also worthy of an Oscar in my opinion) I'm a fan of his at the moment anyway. Zoe Wanamaker also appears as Marilyn's acting coach who she absolutely relies upon for nearly every line (much to Laurence Olivier's distaste). The smallest part going to a well known actress is probably the part played by Judi Dench (Sybil Thorndike) who sits firmly on Marilyn's side as Olivier becomes increasingly frustrated by Monroe's inability to arrive on time to the set, or act a scene without messing up.
The film follows the increasing tensions between Monroe and Olivier as Olivier accuses her of holding up production and even questions her ability to act. Clark is left to pick up the pieces and support Marilyn in whatever way she requires. Sometimes it means just having someone else's company, other times it means going for a drive in the country. There is insunuations that this was Marilyn acting at her best, making others do anything she desires by pretending to be damaged goods. I would have liked to have seen this taken a little further in the storyline, but this isn't a major problem as the storyline was intriguing enough.
I would have liked the film to have been a little longer if I'm honest, but I think that is more out of fastination of Monroe and an eagerness to learn more about this iconic woman. I would definitely welcome any further productions with Williams portraying her, however I'm not sure there is any scope left following this particular storyline. Perhaps just another bio on a different aspect of her life would be interesting.
It had been reported that Scarlett Johnannson had been the original Monroe, however for me this just wouldn't have worked, so it's a good job that Curtis responded to these claims that it was only ever going to be Williams for him. He knew what he wanted and he knew it would work. Perhaps it was Williams' personal life that helped her to portray this troubled icon, after she lost the father to her daughter Matilda, Heath Ledger in 2008.
Unfortunately Colin Clark didn't live to see this wonderful masterpiece of his week with Marilyn.
Summary: 5 stars