A Movie Date with Marilyn Monroe
My Week with Marilyn is a heartfelt and seductive biopic driven by an Oscar-worthy performance by Michelle Williams.
When she’s on screen nothing else matters. My Week With Marilyn is the story of Marilyn Monroe’s work on the productionThe Prince and the Showgirl, and how a young director’s assistant became enticed into the biggest joy ride of his life. Halfway through, the latter becomes the overpowering part of the story.
Monroe’s name brings excitement and awe, so when we get down to the grittiness of the film we find ourselves solely attached to a story of a lonely girl’s fleeting grasp to a world where she doesn’t have to act.
Marilyn Monroe is played by Michelle Williams, and after this performance an Oscar nomination is almost certainly in her future. Every hip swing, kiss, wink, and smile she makes is just as lovely as when the blonde bombshell herself did it. Even her curly blonde hair and red lipstick glows to perfection. We truly believe we are watching Monroe.
Monroe was an enigma; she still is to this day. Williams took that challenge, but didn’t mold it to her own image. Instead she takes that idea and breaks our hearts. She stuns and seduces us, making us love an enigmatic woman.
It’s a romantic biopic, a cherished memory to Monroe’s short life. The film was based on Colin Clark’s personal memoir “The Prince, The Showgirl and Me.” Clark also co-wrote the screenplay, so we could see a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay as well. He fell in love with the actress in 1956, and discovered her beauty in a very deep way, through her fear and depression.
In 1956 the young go-getter Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) takes a job with a production company. He’s just a lowly third directors assistant, but he continues to make inroads, working with the main actor Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), he soon becomes enchanted by Mrs. Monroe’s aura. (She was married to Arthur Miller.)
One night Monroe asks Clark to come to her dressing room. She asks him whose side he’s only. Cautiously, he replies he’s on her side. Clark becomes her confidant in a tumultuous time when she feels she’s being betrayed by her husband, and the pressures of the British cinema are raining down on her.
As the two grow closer, Monroe sees Clark as the only one who understands who she truly is. Marilyn Monroe is only a part, but in reality she’s a scared girl who true love runs away from. Monroe begins to fall for Clark as well, and the two sprint off to begin their romance, even though everyone warns Clark she will only break his heart.
This romance isn’t sappy, nor is it without class. It entices us with the right blend of emotional appeal, danger and sexiness. Just as Clark was seduced, we too feel a strange attachment to the beauty resonating from the screen.
Marilyn Monroe was a luminescent figure in every way possible, and the beauty of My Week With Marilyn is it shimmers into the darkness of Monroe’s life. Williams is a wonder in her portrayal. Monroe was a very picky lady, but this performance would make her proud.
My Week With Marilyn is showing at the Downer Theater.