¨It's agony because he's a great actor who wants to be a film star, and you're a film star who wants to be a great actress. This film won't help either of you.¨
My Week with Marilyn is a biographical drama about Monroe`s trip to England to star in The Prince and the Showgirl, a film directed by Sir Laurence Olivier. The story is told through Colin Clark`s eyes, the young man who got his first job as the third assistant director of the film. He tells the story of his relationship with Marilyn during that week of production and how that moment changed his life. The film is actually based on his autobiographical book, and the screenplay was adapted by Adrian Hodges who worked in the past with director, Simon Curtis, in the adaptation of Charles Dickens`s novel, David Copperfield for a made for television movie. Curtis had some great actors to work with in this film, but I just felt the movie moved to slow. It is only a 99 minute long film, but it felt like two and a half hours because it lacks intensity and a decent plot. Fans of Marilyn Monroe will definitely love this film because Michelle Williams plays her brilliantly, but it just wasn’t my style of movie. People interested in art history or autobiographies may also enjoy this film which dates back to the mid 50`s when Marilyn was a film star and Sir Laurence Olivier was considered amongst the best actors of the world. The tumultuous relationship between Olivier and Monroe as he tries his best to keep his cool while directing her is also dealt with in this film. Monroe may have been a star, but she was always forgetting her lines and getting to work late making it impossible for Olivier to direct her. Not everything we see in film is as it seems and this movie proves it. A lot of headaches are involved sometimes in the production of big star films.
Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) is only 23, but he dreams of working in movies. His father is an important art historian, while his brother is always ahead of him. He feels like the failure in the family, so he decides to pack and travel to London for an important job interview involving the production of a film directed by Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and staring Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams). Clark is hired as the third assistant director so he basically is the errand boy. Olivier`s wife, Vivien Leigh (Julia Ormond), likes Clark and asks him to keep an eye on her husband as he works with Monroe. The request is quite ridiculous because Olivier and Monroe don’t get along from the get go. The production of the film, The Prince and the Showgirl begins with several difficulties due to Marilyn`s behavior. Monroe hasn`t come alone to England, she is accompanied by her then third husband, Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), and her acting coach, Paula (Zoe Wanamaker). Olivier feels he can`t direct her with Paula always around trying to tell her how to read her lines. Both come from different schools of acting, and there are several jokes about this throughout the film. Dame Sybil Thomdike (Judi Dench) also has a role in the film and she is always treating Marilyn nicely. However, Marilyn finds it really hard to adapt and finds in Colin the friend she needs to make her stay more comfortable. Colin who then was dating a girl from the wardrobe department named Lucy (Emma Watson), begins to fall for Marilyn despite everyone`s warnings. This is the story of what happened during that week of production.
The cast in this film is probably the best thing about it. Let me begin by saying that Michelle Williams is just brilliant in this role that gave her her second consecutive Oscar nomination for lead actress. Williams has come a long way from her early teen Dawson`s Creek years. She has matured into one of Hollywood`s best. In this film you forget you are seeing someone playing Marilyn and actually believe it is her. Another great performance came from Kenneth Branagh as Olivier. He is just brilliant in this film and a great actor who has several similarities to the character he played. Just like Olivier, Branagh is passionate about Shakespeare and adapted several of his plays to the big screen. I could think of no better actor to play this role. Eddie Redmayne is the lead character of the film and he is good, but is completely outshined by Williams and Branagh. The rest of the characters don’t get nearly enough screen time and it is just a mystery as to why they were included in the film. Emma Watson has barely any screen time and her character is easily forgotten. The same can be said about the rest of the cast. The story is interesting but not entertaining enough for a feature film. I give this film a fresh rating however thanks in most part to the performances from Branagh and Williams. If you are a fan of any of these characters or actors than you might enjoy this film more than I did. Personally I never really was a big fan of Marilyn Monroe or her work.