Review: My Week With Marilyn

July 10, 2012 6:46 pm

The real-life Miller, Olivier and Monroe.

Set in the summer of 1956, the young graduate Colin Clark dreams of finding a job in the film industry so decides to leave the safety of his parents’ home to embark on an adventurous journey to London, not knowing where destiny will take him.

Against the odds, he lands himself a job at a production house in the heart of Britain’s film industry –the Warner Bros. studios in Leavesden – and before Clark properly realises what is happening he finds himself in the presence of the legendary Sir Laurence Olivier and becomes a witness of the tense interaction between Olivier and absolute superstar of the late ‘50s, Marilyn Monroe, during the production of the comedy ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’.

Monroe, who is joined by her then new husband Arthur Miller, has moments of insecurity, depression and behaviour that borders insanity, resulting in continuous production delays which deeply frustrate the ambitious and consummate professional Olivier.

When Miller leaves England, Monroe’s loneliness and desperate need for attention are filled by the funny, energetic Clark, who introduces Marilyn to some of the pleasures of English life. They share a heavenly, surreal week in which he lets Monroe escape from the Hollywood sycophants and the pressures of being a superstar. Their affair is encouraged by some on set but loathed by others who secretly desire the attention of Marilyn for themselves. It is the story of a genuine, fun summer love which is bound to end, without anyone really getting hurt.

Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark

Director Simon Curtis delivers an excellent performance with a sexy, appealing Michelle Williams as Monroe. Kenneth Branagh’s Olivier keeps the whole lot together while Judi Dench acts as the moral conscience of the crew and Harry Potter’s Emma Watson is casted as a motivating extra who anxiously fancies Clark. But it is Eddie Redmayne – portraying the young, naive and slightly insecure Colin Clark – who gives a compelling performance through and carries the story. The convincing plot is supplemented by the 1950s vibe, fashion, gorgeous and moving music which all come together to turn this production into a success. The genuine on-screen chemistry between Williams and Clark make this movie a must-see for anyone who still dares to say ‘yes’ to love.

My Week With Marilyn (UK, 99 mins, drama)

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