The New Marilyn Movie: A Girl's Best Friend?

Categories: Film

michelle-williams-vogue-9-570x777-thumb-250x340.jpg

I just saw My Week With Marilyn at the New York Film Festival, and it turns out to be a sweet and incisive true story about a production assistant's interplay with the screen legend during the tumultuous filming of The Prince and the Showgirl.

The gofer, Colin Clark (played with youthful wonder by Eddie Redmayne) develops some very strong insight into the whole star-crossed mess.

As he puts it in the film, Olivier was a great actor trying to be a movie star and Marilyn was a movie star trying to be a great actor. And Showgirl wouldn't really serve either of their ambitions.

On set, Marilyn drove Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) batty, while co-star Sybil Thorndike (Judi Dench) defended her right to be erratic yet genius, Paula Strasberg (Zoe Wanamaker) stroked her with gushing and motivations, and others fed her pills and protection.

Throughout this, the tortured Marilyn longed to be loved for herself and got a taste of that with her fling with Colin before hubby Arthur Miller flew back to her side to try to calm her insecurities one more time.

Anyway, those expecting a lot of boo-poo-pee-dooing will be deeply disappointed.

Williams plays the human side of Marilyn, going for softer, more subtle hues.

At the festival, Williams explained that "Marilyn Monroe was a character that she played and the image you're most familiar with.

"It was perfectly honed, but it was artifice, something she'd studied and crafted and perfected.

"There was a person underneath that."

And how did Williams study for her performance?

Well, for the musical bits -- yes, she sings -- she listened to Marilyn's recordings and also those of Ella Fitzgerald, who Williams said Marilyn was influenced by.

Wow! Did you know Marilyn was into scat singing?



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
Southern Dave
Southern Dave

Gee, you mean he wrote one book and years later, "remembered" some more stuff?.

I'm not buyin'  it.

Keating3232
Keating3232

I was at the same screening, Michael, and I can't believe you were sucked into this tepid little teacup of a movie. Judi Dench plays Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh plays Kenneth Branagh, and Michelle Williams is NOT remotely a patch on MM, at least not in terms of burning up the screen. She'll be lucky to get an Oscar nomination, and doesn't have a chance in hell of winning.

Barkley
Barkley

She's so wrong on so many levels.  But then so was Connie Stevens.

Lucy McBees
Lucy McBees

Hi everyone,

I personally believe that should be very nice movie, why not?

Cheers Lucy

Hwould
Hwould

From what I've seen, she can't really capture Marilyn but it's not her fault. She simply wasn't born with (or developed) those attributes. Who has?

Rogie
Rogie

Nothing about her fling with Joan Crawford? Now that would have been worth its own movie!

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

I don't understand the whole premise of this movie -- which I have not yet seen. If you read Colin Clark's book,  "The Prince and the Showgirl and Me" (about 200 pages), he was the lowliet of gofers on the movie and only got the job because of his famous father, Kenneth Clark. He was an observer, certainly, but the most menial of participants, with -- according to his own description -- very little one-on-one contact with Marilyn. The only sex in the book is Colin getting a blowjob from a male acquaintance.

Marilyn was an Ella Fitzgerald idolator; got Ella a gig at a Hollywood night club by promising to be there every night in the audience. Ella said Marilyn was "an unusual woman -- ahead of her time." Marilyn listened to Ella, Sinatra and Garland while she went through the interminable process of "getting ready" to meet the world she had conquered, but also feared.

Hwould
Hwould

Judi Dench plays Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh plays Kenneth Branagh". Sounds fabulous!!

mjm
mjm

not true. Joan hated Marilyn.

mjm
mjm

Marilyn was at Judy's concert at Manhattan Center in April of '62. Judy was recording a possible follow-up for Judy at Carnegie Hall called 'Judy Takes Broadway' but had to cancel the concert midway because she lost her voice! also at the concert was some newcomer named Barbra Streisand

Melinda9
Melinda9

Odds are Colin Clark is a big fat liar.

Musto
Musto

Clark wrote a whole other book after that in which he revealed his private week with Marilyn. The film seems to draw from both books.

Loading...