My Week With Marilyn

Year: 2011
Production Co: The Weinstein Company
Director: Kenneth Brannagh
Writer: Adrian Hodges
Cast: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Brannagh, Julia Ormond, Toby Jones, Dominic West, Judie Dench

I don't know as much about Laurence Olivier or Marilyn Monroe than I do about other public figures, so while I was excited to see this I didn't have a lot of knowledge of the actual world it depicted to compare things to.

But Michelle Williams is still shaping up to be the best actress working today. If you don't appreciate anything else about the film you'll marvel at the way she absolutely channels the 60s starlet, capturing the essence of innocence and sexuality Monroe was famous for as well as the wiggle, the smile and everything else. I can't remember what – if any – award nominations she got for the role but she was as good playing Marilyn as her ex husband once was playing the Joker.

The lead character is actually young production assistant Colin (Redmayne), who escapes a rich family to make it in the movies and happens to fall into a job at the job of uber-thesp Olivier's (Brannagh) film company.

London is abuzz with the impending arrival of Marilyn Monroe, who'll star opposite Olivier in a highly anticipated production, but things go off the rails thanks to her infamous skittishness, nerves and self esteem issues just as fast as Colin finds himself in her confidence and perhaps her amorous attentions. As everyone, especially Olivier, loses patience with her decaying reliability, Colin finds himself her only friend, even ahead of her husband Arthur Miller.

It's a fairly light movie about star power and how we're all drawn to it like moths to a flame. At the thought of sharing Marilyn's bed and winning her heart Colin hardly looks back on the relationship with the pretty wardrobe assistant (Watson) he dropped in the process, and he ignores the warnings of all Marylin's handlers, managers and entourage that she'll only break his heart.

Breezy, funny, pretty and very well acted, it's not a deep psychological study into Monroe's fracturing mind as much as an erstwhile love story so its easy to digest, and you won't see a better portrayal of Marilyn for a long time yet.

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