MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (2011)

TMG Scale  7.5    P Factor 0.0     MPAA Rating: R
Starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Emma Watson, Judi Dench, Julia Ormond

First of all, the Motion Picture Association rated this vanilla film R, yet they rated The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 R? Really?  Nothing was R in this movie except references to infidelity and Michelle Williams rather incredible bare butt. Breaking Dawn gratuitous sex, incredible violence, occult worship and one of the bloodiest and most revolting birth scenes I have ever witnessed. What is the deal here?

What we get is simply as stated in the title—one week of Marilyn Monroe’s legendary life. Colin Clark (Redmayne), a personal gofer for Sir Laurence Olivier.  Clark is 23 and a nobody on the set  during the 1956 filming of the comedy,  The Prince and the Showgirl.  Monroe is about the most famous person in the world in 1956. Olivier is fading a mega star with an unmatched ego.  Monroe has just married for the third time. This time to playwright Arthur Miller. She is already a much heralded actress and famous sex kitten,  but she  struggles with identity, self esteem, happiness issues…and of course drug and alcohol abuse. All the basic facts are ostensibly true.

Colin becomes infatuated with Monroe. He felt very in adequate, was the youngest in a family of over-achievers and sought solace in movies. (This sounded like the life of TGM for a awhile!) He is resourceful working people politics and claws his way to work for Olivier—initially for no pay. For this alone I liked this film. It demonstrates a young man with dreams, with spunk and gumption willing to do whatever it takes to land a job. He is willing to do anything. He is willing to work for free to prove his value. His reward? A few great kisses and swiming in the nude with one of the hottest sex goddesses of all time.  Most guys would say “not bad.”

Hubby Miller leaves the set to return to the United States and someone needs to fill the void. (Assuming anyone might consider the loss of Arthur Miller a “void.”) In comes young Colin. He proceeds to have a highly unlikely, week long quasi-fling with Monroe. Monroe just needs an admirer for a week and someone else to distract all her handlers.  Does she really care for Colin? Or does she just use him? Who knows? Who cares except our young Colin?

This is  a curious and compelling story despite being rather melancholy and flat from an action or adventure  standpoint. A few delightful characters keep the momentum moving. Notably Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike. Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh delivers a great line in the film “I’m 43 darling. No one will love me for much longer.” I was amused the way everyone referred to Sir Laurence Olivier as “Larry.” Just kind of funny for what appeared to me as a stuffed shirt English guy. The fact he was revered as one of the best and most famous actors of the 20th Century, even more so.  Just a guy named Larry?   Really?

Norma Jean Mortenson (Monroe)  died of a reputed, barbituate overdose less than six years later on August 5, 1962 at age 36 in Brentwood, California. For one week she had a young infatuated future movie producer named Colin Clark on her side. It was a nice story and provided some insight into who Monroe may have been and what her life was really like at the near height of her career—the Kennedys were yet to be icing on her cake….so to speak.

It’s a good date film for a Tuesday nite. Marylyn fans may love it or hate it. TMG enjoyed it like a warm satin sheet on a snowy night. It just felt good.

Joy Lynn: I did not learn anything new about Monroe’s public life after spending a “Week with Marilyn Monroe,”  but I enjoyed watching the personal relationship she  developed with Colin Clark. For a story of lust, I found this one hour and half film very enjoyable.  Its uncanny how well Williams portrays Monroe.  She handles the role effortlessly.  Her body, her voice, gestures and movements are mesmerizing just like the real Marilyn Monroe.  By the time the movie ended, I was still wanting see more!

Clark  recounts a week of his life with Monroe.  He begins observing the production of the film and eventually gets involved with Monroe, despite what everyone keeps telling him— that she will love you and then leave you.  Colin and Monroe develop a strong bond. They spoon and skinny dip together, but nothing much more.  It’s a romance about companionship, trust and appreciation. We all need that in life!
Unfortunately, Monroe was never able to accept the love and appreciation she was given.  The film takes place 6 years before her death. It is apparent when this sex goddess was 30 years young, she was too insecure to be loved.  She never loved herself, therefore, could not love anyone else.

 

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