My Week with Marilyn

NOW ON DVD. Directed by Simon Curtis. Starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench. Rated R.

Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier’s, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl. []

Nicole: Welp, I’m conflicted, Cassidy. On one hand, I greatly enjoyed this movie (probably because I’m an anglophile), but on the other I disliked it. Why? Two words: Michelle Williams. I’m officially letting the cat out of the bag now, come what may, but I don’t think her performance deserved any buzz-worthy acclaim nor should it have garnered so many award nominations. Perhaps playing an icon as unforgettable and unique as Marilyn Monroe is an impossible feat and I should give her a break. But, I can’t. She tried too hard and didn’t get it right for more than a few scattered moments. It was an inconsistent performance from the first moment to very last scene.

elizabeth: I did enjoy the movie because I do so love period pieces. But, dare I say, I agree that it had some flaws and Michele William’s portrayal of a sex symbol  left me wondering – was it a great performance or did she run out of oxygen during rehearsals? Was Marilyn Monroe that emotionally beaten up by her then husband, Arthur Miller, or that psycho witch in the form of an acting teacher (who was brilliantly portrayed by Zoë Wanamaker)? I just felt that Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) should have had every right to bury Marilyn in the English countryside. Right after he does something with those eyebrows!

Nicole: Like you, I’m a sucker for period pieces. Who’s the bigger sucker is up for debate. Also, I hate agreeing with you, but I must. I, too, was wondering if the Marilyn portrayed here was laid on just a little too thick or was she actually much savvier than this movie let on? I’d like the think the latter, but judging from her sad history, it’s probably a combination of the two. On my end (and stop staring, it’s not polite), the movie wouldn’t have been worth the watch without the incredible Kenneth Branagh. OH.MY.GOD. Now, this had to be one heady proposition for him: to play the man he was so often compared to in his career – and to hit it out of the park. Every one of his scenes was a pure and utter delight.

elizabeth: I think the movie should be renamed, “My Week with Colin.” Colin (Eddie Redmayne) started off as this rich, skinny geek of a young man, but I found him endearing. He did a stellar job as a young chap (it’s an English movie – it’s the only time I can say that) falling in love for the first time. Too bad he picked an international movie star.

My favorite quote in the movie is: “First love is such sweet deception.”  And it was. Well, I do prefer that line to the melancholy one uttered by Vivian Leigh, “I’m 43. No one will love me for much longer.” Time to mix my meds. Get the popcorn ready.

Nicole: That’s a bit of all right, and Bob’s your uncle. Cheers!