At the Movies: My Week With Marilyn

I have far too many “important” movies to watch right now to spend any time on a Jonah Hill babysitting comedy or another heartwarming ensemble comedy centered on a holiday.

So to fulfill my Friday contractual obligations, here’s a review of a film now playing (at least in St. Louis) that I just got around to seeing this week.

My Week With Marilyn

The year is 1956 and young Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) is determined to get a job in the film business. Through sheer persistence he manages to convince Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) to give him work on Olivier’s latest project.

Colin is named third assistant director for “The Prince and the Showgirl,” a movie that will combine the unique talents of British acting legend Olivier with American superstar Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams).

Marilyn arrives in England with husband Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) and a Svengali-like acting coach. Olivier quickly becomes exasperated with his co-star and  her desire to use method acting, a method that he doesn’t have time for

The strain between the two stars is exacerbated by Marilyn’s perpetual tardiness. A spat that ends with Arthur going back to the States puts more stress on Marilyn. She strikes up a friendship with Colin that helps her get through the  production.

Directed by Simon Curtis, “My Week With Marilyn” starts off as a charming, old-fashioned comedy and takes a more serious turn once Marilyn shows up and her personal baggage takes center stage. The film manages to maintain that charm thanks in large part to a talented cast.  Michelle Williams is mesmerizing in the title role.


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