Michelle Williams turns in another terrific performance as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, an alluring little film that is entertaining, but ultimately unremarkable. The movie will appeal to those more interested in lighthearted romantic dramas than serious Oscar fare.
Eddie Redmayne stars as Colin Clark, an eager young man who wants nothing more than to make it big in the film industry. Persistence pays off as he lands an assistant job on a new movie being filmed outside London, which just happens to star sultry Marilyn Monroe.
Set during the filming of Laurence Olivier's The Prince and the Showgirl, Marilyn is portrayed as a medicated young woman who is lost among her own popularity. Olivier (played by Kenneth Branagh) can't stand her due to her seemingly massive ego and disregard for anyone else, though as Colin discovers, she's just a girl overwhelmed by the pressures placed upon her.
Redmayne turns in a fine performance, but it's Williams, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the role, who understandably steals the show. Oddly, it took me a little while to accept her as Marilyn Monroe; her first few scenes as the iconic blonde suggested she was going to offer nothing more than a caricature performance. As time progressed, however, I forgot that I was watching the spritely, seemingly modest Williams; she plays Marilyn to perfection and gives one of the most nuanced, emotional performances of the year.
Redmayne and Williams have strong chemistry together and their scenes together are the highlights of the film. Which, of course, makes sense since the movie is called My Week with Marilyn. The movie as a whole is lighthearted and entertaining, though hardly groundbreaking.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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