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My Week with Marilyn

March 19, 2012

“I think directing a movie has to be the best job ever invented. But, Marilyn has just about cured me of that.” Laurence Oliver.

Michelle Williams channels Marilyn Monroe while surrounded by thousands of famous British thespians. My Week with Marilyn is a charming/uneven little film that features a knock out lead performance by Williams. Michelle keeps the film afloat despite a script that never fully engages you due to its familiar themes. The movie underutilzes its great crew and big name actors pop in and out for the sake of being in the credits. Secondary stories are started and forgotten in a movie that should have just left the camera on Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh.

You know where the film is headed but you could never predict how good Williams is. Never once do you feel like she is “acting.” Meryl Streep and Jean Dujardin won the Oscars this year because they were in almost every shot of each film. The directors were capable enough to put the movies on their shoulders. The result was a fistful of Academy Awards. If director Simon Curtis would have given Williams more to do she could have created a wonderful portrait of a damaged human much like Dujardin did in The Artist.

Williams is proving herself to be an under the radar actress that hits you when you least expect.

The movie focuses on a young third director played by Eddie Redmayne. The poor guy has to deal with the stress of working on his first movie and falling in love with a damaged bombshell. He is working on a Sir. Laurence Oliver (Kenneth Branagh) directed film The Prince and the Showgirl. The production was a nightmare due to “Laurence Oliver being a great actor who wanted to be a movie star and movie star Monroe wanting to be a great actress.”

Monroe’s antics are well catalogued. She showed up to set late, drank alcohol during takes and spent all morning on one or two lines of dialogue. Her damaged mental state, beauty and early death have become things of legend. Michelle Williams does a good job of humanizing someone who became larger than life.

Watch My Week with Marilyn for Michelle Williams performance. The movie will never totally capture your attention but you will understand why everyone loved Marilyn Monroe.

Keep your eye out for an underused Emma Watson as she enters the post-Potter world.

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