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My Week With Marilyn

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My Week With Marilyn - 25/11/2011 10:46:23 AM   
Empire Admin


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Best Picture contenders are a bit thin on the ground th... - 25/11/2011 10:46:24 AM   


Posts: 220
Joined: 5/12/2005
From: Cardiff
This just shows how rare a Marilyn Monroe is. Williams is undeniably a beautiful girl and a talented actress, but she doesn't have Marilyn's sex appeal. This is partly because she doesn't have Marilyn's extraordinary figure. It is also due in part to the fact that Marilyn is one of the most famous examples of somone suffering from 'arrested development', due to her very troubled childhood. This is part of what makes her difficult to emulate. Williams' comes the closest I've ever seen though.

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Give The Girl An Oscar - 29/11/2011 4:43:37 PM   


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Joined: 5/12/2009
Michelle Williams was brilliant in this I actually believed I was watching Marilyn Monroe it wasn't just an impression it was so much more it was great acting. And now I feel for Marilyn she was messed up big time.

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Oscar friendly (and worthy) fayre - 30/11/2011 1:43:35 PM   
Michael Dovey


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Joined: 3/1/2006
From: Cambridgeshire
For anyone interested in Marilyn Monroe, or the politics of the acting/film making fraternity - then this is a must. Beautifully acted by Michelle Williams, and so much more than just a parody - she really injects a sense of what it must have been like to be Marilyn, although I dread to think how this fragile actress would have coped with today's intrusive society.

A great cast rounds out a thoroughly entertaining 1 and 40 minutes, and heralds the time of the year when we get great performances, more intelligent and interesting films all desperate for those elusive awards - what a shame the rest of the year isn't filled with quite such quality!

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RE: Oscar friendly (and worthy) fayre - 1/12/2011 1:08:02 AM   


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From: The North
I thought Branagh was brilliant in this - some of his bitchy little asides were funny as fuck.

_____________________________ - some nonsense about alien film directors and musclebound man-children.

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RE: Oscar friendly (and worthy) fayre - 3/12/2011 8:38:54 AM   
Dr Lenera


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Colin Clark falls in love with the movies as a child and as a young man is willing to wait…and wait…and wait outside an office until he finally secures a job working in the film industry.  After carrying out some favours unpaid, he gets a job working on the British set of The Prince And The Showgirl at Pinewood Studios.  The movie, which its star is also directing, is intended to revive the career of Laurence Olivier while raise the profile of Marilyn Monroe, the greatest star of the star who is tiring of her sex symbol status.  Monroe is also on honeymoon with her new husband, playwright Arthur Miller.  Monroe proceeds to exasperate most of the cast and crew by showing up late on the set and having trouble with her lines, especially Olivier, who takes an instant dislike to her.  Monroe needs a friend, which could be Clark……

I’m going to begin this review by admitting one thing; I am no fan of Marilyn Monroe, and cannot understand for the life of me how this [in my opinion] talentless, clueless bint, who is worshipped by many of today’s talentless, clueless bints such as Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox, became one of the famous movie stars ever.  She was a mediocre actress who could only play two roles, both of which were basically herself, and a lazy woman who often could not even be bothered to turn up for filming on time or learn her lines.  Her few good films, such as Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, manage to succeed inspite of her, not because of her.  Yet somehow, the camera loved her, and to millions of people that was, and is, enough.  My Week With Marilyn is based on two diary accounts by Colin Clark, the first being The Prince, The Showgirl and Me, about his time spent on the set of The Price And The Showgirl, and the second being My Week With Marilyn, a possibly fancified account of the time he spent with Monroe.  The result is a charming, immensely likeable movie which doesn’t provide any surprises, but put a smile on the face of even this Monroe-hater, and actually became rather touching.

Filmed appropriately in Pinewood Studios, My Week With Marilyn  perfectly encapsulates time and place,  and really gives a convincing impression of a film set circa 1956.  To its credit, it doesn’t hold back with showing Monroe’s unprofessionalism, and proceeds for a while as a light comedy. Olivier’s increasing annoyance with his co-star allows for some very funny moments, and Monroe really is a bit dislikeable at first to the point where you will probably sympathise with Olivier.  Little by little though, the film peels back the layers of this seemingly arrogant, incompetent star to reveal a fragile, lonely human being.  It doesn’t entirely explain why she was so unprofessional, nor does it really answer the question of whether Monroe actually could act well or not.  She is constantly being pushed by her ‘Method’ coach Paula Strasberg, who is always saying she is a great actress, but I certainly don’t believe she thinks so.  The film hammers home how much control studios had over stars in those old days, and even sometimes now, to the point of giving them very little freedom indeed.  Perhaps her behaviour was her way of rebelling against her situation, which, it is suggested, was aided by pills which may have done her no good whatsoever.  It also rather sadly shows how stars have an image and often have to live up to it.  Even when Monroe briefly escapes the confines of her prison, she is hounded by people, and the scenes where she plays the ‘sex symbol’ to them, knowing that’s what is expected of her, are really sad, because you know she is not really enjoying it.

Around half way through, My Week With Marilyn develops real heart as it depicts the increasing friendship between the infatuated Clark and Monroe, who has that peculiar but common kind of loneliness most of us have probably experienced, being surrounded by people but still feeling on her own.  Up to now, most of the film, except for the recreations of the sets of The Prince And The Showgirl,  have been set in the drab grey and white rooms and corridors of the studio, so when Clark and Monroe escape to the countryside, the greens and browns really give a feeling of liberation, and the film brings in a pleasingly old-fashioned romantic feel, partly of course because Clark does not become another notch on Monroe’s bedpost.  His declaration of love to her is very moving.  I don’t think Clark really expects Monroe to leave her superstar position for him, but you have no doubt that Monroe will treasure the time she spent with him, one of precious few times where she had some freedom and lived a more normal life.   As for Clark, well, he’ll get over it, but the movie’s depiction of that painful first love most of us have experienced, perfectly described in the film as “such sweet sorrow”, is beautifully done.  It may describe a fantastical situation which just happened to be mostly true, but some of the emotions it evokes are universal…….it’s just that few of us have shared a bed with The Greatest Star In The World.

The reception to Michelle Williams’s performance as Monroe has been mostly good, though not entirely.  I think that if you’re a fan of Monroe you’re probably more likely to find flaws, and there’s nothing wrong with that – if someone played James Stewart or Vincent Price in a film I would be searching for differences and things that they haven’t got right, because I’m a huge fan of theirs, know more of what they are like through often watching their movies, and want to see them portrayed100% accurately.  To me, though, Williams really ‘gets’ Monroe, especially her voice and in the opening and closing scenes where she performs two songs Monroe did.  She superbly plays both Monroe’s main personalities; the little girl lost and the voluptuous sex kitten, while giving a very sad performance of a woman trapped by her fame and what she is, something many stars, especially decades ago, experienced. Despite having looks that are actually quite different to Monroe’s, I believed she was Monroe for the duration of the picture, and that’s what matters. To me, it’s the best female performance of the year.

Not all the cast convince in playing real people, with Kenneth Branagh’s turn as Laurence Olivier being especially disappointing and just seeming to just skim the surface, but Zowie Wanamaker is nicely annoying as Lee Strasberg and Emma Watson pleasing as Clark’s girlfriend, who is ignored in favour of Monroe.  With a romantic score by Conrad Pope which nicely mixes in period music, this is undoubtably a soufflé of a movie, one which hardly depicts thrilling events and may not linger in the mind for too long, but it’s certainly the best made movie and the most pleasant watch of the [pretty dire in cinematic terms] last couple of months.   In most of our lives, it’s often the little moments, which perhaps at the time seem innocuous and unimportant, and are maybe more about what didn’t happen as opposed to what did, which stay with us more, and My Life With Marilyn beautifully illustrates this.


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RE: Oscar friendly (and worthy) fayre - 22/12/2011 8:39:55 PM   


Posts: 24
Joined: 10/5/2011
A perfect little film, I thought. I could actually sit through it again.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 7
- 29/12/2011 11:57:41 PM   


Posts: 210
Joined: 1/1/2006
Saw this yesterday and am so glad I didn't 'wait for the dvd' as it was not only a great film but the period detail alone made it worth the big screen visit. Michelle williams had a thankless task playing Marilyn and once I got over the voice I really enjoyed and believed her performance. As an ex acting student I also lapped up the conflicts between methods and actors and loved seeing so many bona fide actors in one subtle and touching drama. Eddie Raymande may not have the flashiest role in this but he stole it for me, a fully formed and believeable performance - in one scene taking charge and confident, in the next utterly beguiled and tongue tied by his screen idol made flesh. Lovely film and looking forward to watching it again

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RE: - 2/1/2012 7:02:40 PM   

Posts: 10
Joined: 2/1/2012
A gem of a film,highly recommended!


Film is forever

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Post #: 9
Nice - 10/1/2014 8:04:17 AM   


Posts: 75
Joined: 9/11/2009
Well paced, well acted, nice light entertainment. Definitely effective. Not sure if It was Williams or Marilyn, but either way you cant help but be seduced on screen.

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