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Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Week With Marilyn Showcases The Best of Britain

Interestingly, My Week With Marilyn starts in the same way that the starting-to-be-acclaimed movie The Artist does: with a film within the film. The device works in both pictures as a way to admire the stars whose story we will see unfold - yet also give us that distance that stars demand. In Marilyn, we see young Colin watching a Marilyn Monroe film - and then get stylish shots of Michelle Williams actually singing the number in the film. I enjoyed the movie. I would call it style over substance. There are so many great English actors in the film: Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Simon Russell Beale, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond. And Williams is able to carry it with a sexy, intuitive performance. No, she does not have the curves of the real Marilyn, but she's able to show a few sides of her. It's a difficult role - she has to be Marilyn, be Marily acting, be Marilyn cooing, be Marilyn crazy. And sing. So while it's not a great film - there's just not enough plot really despite a nice supporting job by Emma Watson as a woman Colin's age - director Simon Curtis (he's married to Elizabeth McGovern) does a pretty good job of holding it all together. It's just a fun movie to watch. Branagh gives Olivier a kind turn, as does Ormond with Vivian Leigh. Eddie Redmayne, who I liked with Kristen Stewart in The Yellow Hadkerchief, also holds his own among the many luminaries. I regret not seeing him on Broadway last year in Red.  I would guess a couple Oscar nominations come out of this film, perhaps for Williams and Branagh.

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