Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Week with Marilyn Review - 3½ Stars

Michelle Williams plays Marilyn Monroe so well that at some point you stop looking at the actress and start watching the character.  That’s high praise for an actress playing an icon.  “My Week with Marilyn” recreates the period in which Marilyn went to England to film “The Prince and the Showgirl” with Sir Lawrence Olivier — played bigger than life by Kenneth Branagh.  The collaboration does not go well.  Film fans will tell you “The Prince and the Showgirl” (1956) is considered a high-powered misfire. The third assistant director (read go-fer) played by Eddie Redmayne catches Marilyn’s eye.  She makes him her constant companion, which includes bringing her out of her deep depressions.  The story behind the scenes involves a clash of egos, insecurity, and the irony of Monroe hoping to grow into a great actor while Oliver desires working with her in order to turn him into a movie star—each has what the other wants and can’t quite achieve it.  “My Week with Marilyn” tells an interesting story with a performance so good, I expect Williams to get a nomination for Best Actress this season.  Does it deliver what it promises?  The humanity of Marilyn Monroe.  Is it entertaining?  So interesting.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Much better than expected.