Saturday, November 26, 2011

false negative

Simon Curtis's "My Week with Marilyn," a minor film backed by a major marketing campaign, requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief.

First, one has to believe author Colin Clark's claim that he spent one (relatively) wild week with Marilyn Monroe while she was filming "The Prince and the Showgirl" in London and he was working as a production assistant on the film.

With just about everyone connected with the film now deceased, who's around to challenge his boast?

Secondly, there's Michelle Williams, an actress who has been very good on occasion but whose sole credentials for playing Monroe are that she's female and blonde.

To the film's credit, it is not entirely reverential of its central icon. In many ways, it ventures into risky "Mommie Dearest" territory. The Marilyn here is in touch with her own naked feelings but oblivous to the feelings of others, almost to the point of casual sadism.

And her work on "The Prince and the Showgirl" is so painfully awful, at least as portrayed here, that one spends the film wondering exactly what was so special about her or why anyone would put up with her.

A very odd movie.


bkelly said...

This is the kind of film that can derail an actor's career. Williams has been extremely careful so far and I guess the risk made doing this worthwhile. But, frankly, I can't imagine anyone successfully miming Monroe.

Blake said...

The film lacked all the qualities I admire in biopics. I found it extremely garish, both emotionally and visually.

Kim said...

One big problem with MY WEEK WITH MARILYN was that that, perhaps understandably, it takes MM’s fundamental intractability as a person, performer and icon and sentimentalizes the living bejesus out of her.

Jason said...

This film is not meant to be a biopic.

A.N. said...

I loved it , I did what any good film should, makes you desire the role of the character, its believable, a beautiful film, that makes young girls and boys, see that you can be in love, even when in life today, spontainious love is rare.
As a 15 girl myself, I can relate to the Marilyn Monroe in this film, I adore her, and My Week With Marilyn is a truly beautiful film.

Mike said...

I must agree with A.N., I loved the movie. Its a movie after all, some of you are just too serious. I agree that Williams was not great in the role, but really, who on earth could play the lovely MM.