Tuesday, November 29, 2011
11-26-11: 7 Days in Heaven
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (2011) ***1/2 99mins. D: Simon Curtis. Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormand, Judi Dench, Emma Watson.
After working his way into a position on Laurence Olivier's latest film, a young man is given the responsibility of looking after the film's most prominent cast member. The most recognized and popular woman on the planet, Marilyn Monroe.
This film is based on Colin Clark's diary chronicling his time on Olivier's film and his time with Marilyn. Regardless of the authenticity of his writings, it still provides for some interesting drama. I found the clash between two icons very engaging. Olivier the seasoned veteran struggles to get a performance out of an inexperienced pop idol.
Michelle Williams is excellent as Monroe. Capturing her beauty and conveying the sadness that was her life. Redmayne holds his own as the eager Third Assistant Director who also serves as Olivier's assistant. Branagh is great as Olivier, capturing his cadence and accent quite well. A bit of trivia, Branagh and Olivier both received Oscar nominations for their performances as Henry V in films they directed as well. Unfortunately for the rest of the supporting players, they seem to serve as a means to regal up the cast. Watson has the thankless role as the love interest on the side, there really isn't much to her part except to be cute.
The film is an interesting look behind the scenes of the making of a film and an engaging look at Marilyn and the impact she had on the people around her. Again, how true the facts are is unclear but for what there is it makes for a decent film.