Marilyn Monroe lives again in “My Week with Marilyn,” a biopic based upon the memoir of Colin Clark.
The film, available on home video, examines Monroe’s time in England in 1956 during the filming of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” which starred and was directed by Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh).
Clark (Eddie Redmayne) is determined to get a job in movies. His tenacity lands him a gig as a glorified gopher on the set of the picture that brought Hollywood royalty to England.
At first, Colin makes a date with a young wardrobe hand, played by the delightful Emma Watson in her first live-action role since the “Harry Potter” series. But before you know it, Colin is falling for Monroe (Michelle Williams), who uses the younger man as an escape during a turbulent time in her life.
“My Week with Marilyn” is Academy Award-caliber stuff, and Williams and Branagh both received acting nominations for their work. The film falls a little shy of more memorable biopics, like “The King’s Speech,” because it lacks that transcendent element.
That’s not to say it isn’t a marvel to watch, which is due almost entirely to Williams. An engaging, intelligent actress, Williams captures Monroe’s many layers and becomes something even more alluring. Williams deserves a medal just for getting Monroe’s accent and mannerisms right.
Co-stars Watson, Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper, Dougray Scott and Julia Ormond are all well-cast but grossly underused. Scott, who portrays Marilyn’s husband Arthur Miller, transforms so completely I almost didn’t recognize him, but he has little screen time.
This is a film like “There Will Be Blood,” in which the star is superb but the film was a little forgettable. I’m not much of a fan!
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