My Week With Marilyn – Review!

28 Dec

My Week With Marilyn opens with an eager, young Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) attempting to get into the movie business.  He shows commitment and zeal until he gets a job as a third assistant director (the errand boy for everyone) on the set of Sir Laurence Olivier’s newest film co-starring Marilyn Monroe (played by Michelle Williams).  The film follows starry-eyed Colin as he becomes enraptured by Marilyn.  The film gives us a peak into the ups and downs of Marilyn’s life and how much of a tortured soul she seems to be.

Unfortunately, that’s part of the problem with the film.  Marilyn seems to be so unpredictable that she becomes a caricature of herself.  Michelle Williams handles the role well by handling a fragile character, but everything seems to be slightly overdone.  However, I am no Marilyn Monroe expert.  So, I can’t really base my review upon how accurate the portrayal is.

Colin Clark, on the other hand, comes off as a selfish jerk.  The story is seen through his eyes, but we see him making bad decisions for the sake of Marilyn’s well-being.  He loses a relationship, puts his job at risk, and undercuts many of the other characters.  He seems to transcend the boundaries between movie stars and third assistant directors.  The film constructs itself to always be in favor of Colin even while his actions show poor judgment.

Sir Laurence Olivier played expertly by Kenneth Branagh showcases the difficulties of working with Marilyn Monroe.  The film positions the audience to be in the opposite boat of Olivier, though.  He does not understand Marilyn and thus acts brashly, and we, of course, are meant to side with Marilyn.  However, I believe that many of us, in his position, would act similarly to how Marilyn functions.  He admits it when Marilyn gets it right.  It’s beautiful to behold, and Olivier agrees.

The best parts of the movie was when Judi Dench showcased her talents on the screen.  As Dame Sybil Thorndike, Dench shines whenever she is on screen.  Thorndike is the expert actress that helps and encourages Marilyn to act through Marilyn’s many moods.  She is an understanding person who wants to ease Marilyn into a better actress through support rather than criticism.  The worst part of the movie was when Thorndike disappears for the entire second half.  She is so powerful in the beginning that you wish the character would stick around.

The film is a good film.  It’s not great, but it has good acting even if some of the characters come off as constricted or construed.  The film may slightly be preposterous and over-the-top in believability, but it serves to entertain and you walk out feeling good.

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