Sunday, February 12, 2012


My Week With MarilynPRELUDE: There is no one today who can take Marilyn Monroe’s place. There hasn’t been anybody to come anywhere near her luminosity as a star in the more than 50 years since her death. Some actresses have tried portraying her in a variety of TV biographies.  They paled in comparison to the real thing.

Michelle Williams rejected the role when it was first offered to her. She knew the pitfalls of trying to emanate the most original bombshell in movie history. “No, no,” she said. With much encouraging and begging by the producers, she finally decided to tackle probably the best role she has ever gotten in her career. For capturing the gossamer cloud that enveloped Marilyn, Miss Williams has been nominated for Best Actress. And British star Kenneth Branagh has been nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Sir Laurence Olivier. Marilyn continues to fascinate audiences.

REVIEW: Everybody was in love with Marilyn Monroe during her peak years in the 1950s. Even this writer was madly in love with Marilyn with as much teen-age passion as could be sparked. It’s not necessary to say she was gorgeous; she was a phenomenon of beauty and sensuality like no other woman of her era. Marilyn was magical, vulnerable, funny, and child-like in a body Venus would admire. Millions of men—and women—wanted to cuddle her and protect her and take care that no harm came to her. That is what was unique about Marilyn---she was adored by men and women alike, albeit for different reasons.

She had a magical power on people all over the world. In My Week With Marilyn, we see the effect she had on a dashing young man in England. Based on a book written by a young guy (Eddie Redmayne) who worked on a film with her, the movie shows what transpired when Marilyn arrived in all her Hollywood glory to make a film with Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) in London. The film was The Prince and the Showgirl, based on Terrence Rattigan’s hit play called The Sleeping Prince.

A greater miscasting could not be imagined. Olivier, of the classical stage, was stiff and stuffy. Marilyn was all wiggles and giggles. A pair, indeed. Olivier felt that by co-starring with Monroe it would freshen his image and make him more popular with movie fans. To tell the truth, nobody looked at him when he and Marilyn were on screen together.  She was the consummate scene-stealer, and he was like a piece of the scenery--- in the background and out of focus.

Actress Michelle Williams has been given the formidable task of recreating Marilyn during the period The Prince and The Showgirl was filmed. A heady proposition for any actress, Miss Williams has given us the “essence” of what Marilyn was like and has triumphed in her efforts. Nobody else had ever been able to play Marilyn well. But Miss Williams is brilliant in her magical way of capturing Marilyn’s innocence, beauty, and sense of humor. She doesn’t exactly look like Monroe, but she has figured out a way to make you think she is the movie goddess.

Young British star Eddie Redmayne plays the 22 year-old go-fer who is assigned to look after Miss Monroe’s needs on the set. He’s totally inexperienced, but he takes his job seriously and dotes on Marilyn. They become fast friends because he is “on her side.” She likes and trusts him. Naturally, he’s a red-blooded young man and he inadvertently falls in love with her. Who wouldn’t, being in such close proximity every day? This event creates some complications  because Marilyn is married to American playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott).

Judi Dench is in for a stunning cameo when she plays the dowager actress Dame Sybil Thorndike, who protected Marilyn from Olivier’s rages. Miss Dench has the same quality as had Marilyn; she dominates every scene and is magnificent.

My Week with Marilyn is an interesting look back at a period in Marilyn Monroe’s life and sparks memories of the dazzling star for those who adored her. Miss Williams and Miss Dench are both terrific actresses and are worth seeing for their interpretations of real, live actresses from another era.

Also in the excellent cast are Dominic Cooper, Zoe Wanaker, Emma Watson, and Julia Ormand. Special mention should be made for makeup artist Jenny Shircore for her magical transformation of Miss Williams into Monroe.

For more reviews and our magazine, visit us at  artsnfashion


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms