My Week with Marilyn (2011) – By Brian Morton

When I first opened the package that contained the Oscar nominated, My Week with Marilyn, I was less than excited. Oh great! Another pretentious Hollywood film that’s really here to capitalize on the ‘star’ power of a long faded celebrity. I was sure that this was going to be a long painful movie. Well, I’m happy to report that I was incredibly wrong!

My Week with Marilyn is based on the book by Colin Clark, The Prince, The Showgirl And Me, his story of working on the production of the 1957 movie, The Prince And The Showgirl. Young Colin wants to be in movies badly enough that he’s willing to do anything, and through family connections gets a chance to work with Sir Laurence Olivier on his film with Marilyn Monroe. As events unfold, young Colin finds that he’s drawn to Marilyn and, eventually, falls in love with her, despite the warnings of everyone around him, only to have his heart broken…as, apparently, many before him did.

The real stand out here is Michelle Williams as Marilyn; her Oscar nomination was truly warranted!! Williams inhabits Monroe to the point that I forgot I was watching a performance and was drawn into the ‘behind the scenes’ tale of the production of this classic movie. Williams’ Monroe is the heart and soul of this movie, playing Marilyn as a woman who’s been so damaged that she desperately needs approval from everyone, and once she gets it, begins doubting that their approval is true. Willams’ Monroe is a terribly damaged woman who’s being used by the people around her, who are all claiming to protect her. The movie’s story of the relationship between Monroe and Clark is amazing, with Clark being torn between his job and his attraction to the world’s most famous movie star, and Eddie Redmayne is terrific as the lovelorn and then heartbroken Clark.

This is a similar style movie to My Favorite Year, telling the story of one of Hollywood’s most famous actors from the perspective of a ‘normal’ person, and having this glimpse behind the myth of Marilyn is great! I’m giving My Week with Marilyn 4 out of 4 cigars, it’s a movie that I sat down, expecting to hate, and wound up loving! Spend some time with Marilyn yourself by heading over to http://www.anchorbayent.com.