February 26, 2012
"My Week With Marilyn" is just what is its title says, a film about a young man named Colin Clark, who strikes a friendship with Marilyn Monroe for a week while she filmed a movie with Sir Laurence Olivier. The fame of this movie was based on the Academy Award nominated performance of lead star Michelle Williams as the Monroe.
The mystique of the legendary actress is very well-portrayed by Michelle Williams. I do not know Ms. Monroe enough except for her iconic photos and videos, but I believe Ms. Williams captures Monroe's essence very well indeed -- her smiles and sexiness on-screen, her insecurities and desperate pain behind the screen. Loved that sequence where Marilyn toured Windsor Castle and Eton with Colin (a nondescript Eddie Redmayne). So carefree! Michelle deserves this Oscar nomination more than the one she got for "Blue Valentine" last year. And as far as biopics this year are concerned, I liked Michelle's sincere performance more than that of Meryl Streep's in "The Iron Lady," which can occasionally come across as caricature.
Aside from Michelle, the rest of the cast was okay, but much more ordinary in comparison. Kenneth Branagh, though also Oscar-nominated also here, does not look a thing like Sir Laurence Olivier! Ms. Judy Dench simply has such a distinct face so all her characters feel the same, but she is quite delightful here as a sympathetic senior actress. It was a nice surprise to see Emma Watson here not wearing her Hogwarts uniform. I like this movie very much as a light breezy romp, a wish-fulfillment fantasy for a number of star-struck plain young men (like me, haha!). The build-up and progression of the story is light and straight-forward. This is a very nice and entertaining movie without too much artsy pretension.