What is a week with Marilyn?: “My Week with Marilyn”

What is a week with Marilyn? A trip across the world? A week spent in bed?  A week with Marilyn is a crash course of trying to understand what it means to fall in love with a person and not with the movie star.

“People always see Marilyn Monroe. As soon as they realize I’m not her, they run.” Michelle Willliams speaks this line in the film and it tells the main story of Marilyn Monroe. I don’t know much about Marilyn Monroe except that she was sex symbol, she had a very light airy voice and bleached blonde hair way before Gwen Stefani. For instance, this film takes place during her third marriage with Arthur Miller.

“My Week with Marilyn” is a sweet film following the making of “The Sleeping Prince” in the early 1950’s which would later be changed to the “The Prince and the Showgirl” where Marilyn Monroe is brought over to England to star in this film that is directed and stars Laurence Olivier. The problem is there are two divas on this film, Monroe and Olivier.  The story is told from the point of view of Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne). Clark was an 3rd assistant director to Olivier.  The film is based off Clark’s book, “The Prince, The Showgirl and Me”.

Clark like every other man falls in love with the beauty that is Marilyn. People warn him that she will break his heart. That doesn’t stop Clark from throwing dates with Lucy (Emma Watson) the dresser to spend time with Marilyn. Side note: It’s a good part for Watson,but it will take time for her to grow out of her Hermione Granger attitude.

“My Week with Marilyn” pertains to what many celebrities deal with today… the price and pressure of fame. Marilyn is a pill popper, she travels with an entourage and always needs to be reassured she is doing a good job. In the end she just wants to be loved and cared for.

What celebrities also have to deal with is age. Marilyn is 30 in the film. She jokes she can’t believe she’s already been married three times. She also giggles after kissing Clark who is only 23, the  youngest person she has kissed in a while.  Olivier is probably in his forties. His wive, Vivien could not play the part in the film because she was too old. She was afraid Olivier would leaver her for Marilyn.  Hollywood obsessed with age and it is evident across the globe and through history.

Michelle Williams was an absolute darling. She brought the character of Marilyn Monroe alive. Once again, I only saw “Some Like it Hot” once. I loved Williams giggle, but also her sense of uncertainty about herself. It will be interesting to see if Williams can score an Oscar nomination.

The other actor that stood out was Dame Judi Dench. Dench played Dame Sybil Thorndike. While Olivier yelled at Monroe for showing up late and keeping Thorndike, Thorndike never yelled at her. I thinks she felt sorry for Monroe. She wanted Monroe to feel comfortable. Monroe would only live once.  I also loved her attention to Clark. It was his first film and she wanted him to have a great time.

The film sparked my interest in who Marilyn Monroe was. It’s time to rewatch “Some Like it Hot”.

Oscar Nominations:

  1. Kenneth Branagh: Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  2. Michelle William: Best Actress in a Leading Role

One thought on “What is a week with Marilyn?: “My Week with Marilyn”

  1. Even though the film itself is terribly flawed, Michelle Williams somehow saves this film with her near-perfect performance that captures not only the iconic charm of Monroe, but also the vulnerability of her real-life character, and makes it seem more than just an extended impersonation like something Will Smith did in Ali. Great review. Give mine a look when you can.

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