My Week with Marilyn
Based on the identically-titled book by Colin Clark, “My Week with Marilyn” follows the production of one of famous actress Marilyn Monroe’s most well-known films, “The Prince and the Showgirl.” The film, directed by Simon Curtis, shows a side of the sexy, iconic film star that most audience haven’t witnessed before. Contrary to Monroe’s perceived confidence and sex appeal, the film examines her low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy on set.
Monroe, played by Michelle Williams, is notorious for her many marriages and affairs. The movie focuses, however, on Monroe’s relationship with third assistant director of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” Colin Clark, played by Eddie Redmayne. The young Clark easily falls for the irresistible starlet, whose mental and emotional instability and drug abuse surface more and more throughout the film. Despite Monroe’s heavy baggage, Clark attempts to care for her during the production, which eventually won several awards.
“My Week with Marilyn” is about struggle, damage and regret. The film is a dramatic and authentic reflection of one part of the starlet’s life. The film’s only lack, however, is context. While the film and Williams’ notable performance give the audience a peek into Monroe’s torments, they do little to reveal much about the star’s life.
The film leaves the audience wanting more, but not in the sitting-on-the-edge-of-the-seat way. It instead leaves the audience asking more questions: What haunts Monroe to the point of drug abuse? Why does she constantly rely on the approval of a husband or lover? A more exciting plot would further explore Monroe’s tumultuous childhood of moving between extended family members and foster households and growing up without strong role models.
Even without these details, however, the art direction and impressive performances, not only from Williams and Redmayne, but other notable actors such as Kenneth Branagh, Judie Dench and Emma Watson, make “My Week with Marilyn” a must-see of 2011 and worthy of the Oscar buzz it has received.