By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Three Beers) –
In the Summer of 1956 aspiring writer Colin Clark takes a job as third assistant director for a film that would become The Prince and the Showgirl, which was set to star Marilyn Monroe, and directed and starring Sir Laurence Olivier. Marilyn’s manic behavior quickly puts the film behind schedule. Colin finds himself falling for the starlette, and is surprised when his feelings are reciprocated. Ignoring the warnings of her handlers, Colin finds himself wrapped up in a love affair with the blonde bombshell.
My Week with Marilyn is a film which tries very hard to serve as an exploration of the pressures of fame. In this aspect the film is successful. Actress Michelle Williams does a fantastic job at portraying the famous icon on her rise to the highest levels of fame, and the lowest levels of drug addiction and depression. And for his part Kenneth Branagh does solid work as director/actor Olivier.
The film has a distinctly claustrophobic feel to it, mostly confined to movie sets, backstage dressing areas, and bedrooms. It helps to set the mood of the restrictive experience it is to be world famous, unable to go out in public without being mobbed by fans.
How terrible it must feel to be enormously wealthy…
While the performances are overall solid, it is unfortunate that the film doesn’t aspire to as much as it portends. Ultimately My Week with Marilyn doesn’t have anything new to say about fame, or about Marilyn. And the romance between the her and Colin just doesn’t hold much interest.
Judi Dench plays actress Sybil Thorndike, and seems lost and wasted in such a small role. She never really makes much of an impression past the “Hey, Judi Dench is in this movie” reaction. It should not be necessary to cast Dench just because you need a elderly British actress, I’m reasonably certain other options abound.
Quick History Lesson: In the late 1950’s Marilyn Monroe was to America what Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, and so many others try to be now. Only she was a far more singular personality. All of the above are sex symbols who became famous through tabloid exploits. All of them with an assortment of talents far less prominent than their physical credentials.
This page has just become Movieboozer’s most popular article…
I have to be honest, I’m biased against any film which attempts to cast a sympathetic eye towards attention whores. Sure, she was beautiful, and yes she was in a few decent movies (some even great) but I guess I just don’t understand what makes the lives of the rich and vapid such a popular subject.
Not a terrible movie, but certainly nothing all that interesting either.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: when Marilyn is drunk
Take a Drink: when Marilyn is late for something
Down a Shot: every time Colin is warned not to fall for Marilyn… (It gets old fast)