90 Annoying Minutes with Marilyn

As I mentioned two weeks ago: I have been looking forward to seeing My Week with Marilyn since I heard about the project it in fall 2010. So of course I went and watched it right away when it was released last week. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite what I had expected. My review of the film, as well as some more film recommendations after the jump.

The film is set in 1956 London. Superstar Marilyn Monroe and Legend Sir Laurence Olivier were shooting the comedy The Prince and the Showgirl. Olivier hated Method Acting, Paula Strasberg  (Lee Strasberg’s – father of the method acting – wife) didn’t leave Monroe’s side, Olivier was disciplined and self-confident, Monroe was always late and extremely uncertain about her qualifications. The differences between the actress and her co-star and director turned the shoot into a battle. Amidst the fighting and snapping was newbie Colin Clark, who had just landed his first job in films and was third assistant to Olivier and basically the runner for everything. Shortly before his death in 2002 Clark released his memoires of the days on set, which was much more about Marilyn and Clark’s affair with the Icon than the making of the film.

Simon Curtis’ first feature takes us on the journey with young Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne). It describes his view on Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams); How he gets to know her, how he’s not at all impressed at first but then falls for her once she makes him her confidant. It is about Marilyn Monroe and the fascination people had for her. About her problems, her discomfort, her childish naïve view of the world, the games she played, the pills she took, the men she loved. It gives an insight into the world of the person Marilyn beneath the star Monroe, yet plays with the persona she embodied in her public life.  But although her performance is fantastic and I really adore Michelle Williams, she is not Marilyn Monroe. The problem that arises from this is that everyone in the film is annoyed by Marilyns attitudes, her moods and basically her person, they are fascinated with her rare charisma and on-screen presence. With Williams as Marilyn this just didn’t happen for me. Thus in the end I was only annoyed! I was annoyed by the flirting, the sweetness, the playing games with men, the kokettieren! And this film just doesn’t work if you’re not fascinated by Monroe.

So sadly it was an utter disappointment that’s clearly very subjective. My week with Marilyn is probably not a bad film, but Marilyn Monroe is just not the kind of protagonist I can handle.

My Week with Marilyn (D: Simon Curtis, GB / USA 2011)

In the future I’ll stick with these great Michelle Williams films instead

Blue Valentine (D: Derek Cianfrance, USA 2010 )

A heartbreaking love story about an ending marriage. It’s intercut with how the two met, fell in love, and seemed to be just the perfect couple. These memories and the desperate actions they take to safe what they once had makes it all the harder to watch!

Meek’s Cutoff (D: Kelly Reichardt, USA 2010)

This western focuses on the women in the group and the power dynamics as they begin to shift in times of need. It’s very slow and quiet but haunting and brilliant.

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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/lia/" target="_self">Lia</a>