Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Review: My Week With Marilyn

Portraying a slightly less good-looking Marilyn Monroe, Michelle Williams overcomes her miscasting to melt into the persona of the ill-fated screen goddess. As My Week With Marilyn argues, all she ever wanted was to be treated and loved as a regular person.

Excellent performances help overcome the limp, movie-of-the-week style screenplay, in which a wananbe filmmaker (Eddie Redmayne) becomes Monroe's shoulder to cry (and sometimes smooch) on as she wilts from unceasing pressure from the public, as well as domineering male forces in her life in the form of Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) andhusband Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott). The cypherlike protagonist becomes Monroe's unlikely soothsayer who, if the film is to believed, played a major part in magically turning her into a more stable, reliable performer.

It seems like oversimplified hogwash, but that's how films like this go. The movie is most interesting as a character study of Monroe, and Williams delivers on most fronts, capturing her sense of despair and adoration of the limelight if not her screen radiance.

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