moviereview colin fraser film movie australia review critic flicks

In the mid 1950’s, 23 year old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) was one lucky son of a mother. Born to minor aristocracy (his titled uncle worked at Windsor Castle we learn in a pivotal scene) with dreams of making it large in the film industry, he landed a job with Britain’s favourite son, Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh). It was a favour from Larry’s wife, Viviane Leigh: she knew people and her people knew Colin’s people. The connection was timely for Olivier was about to direct The Prince And The Showgirl with Marilyn Monroe and Colin found himself in the thick of it, and for one sunlit week, became Marilyn’s new best friend.

Clark’s memoir comes to life through Williams’ electric performance. For 99 minutes she is Marilyn the attention seeking sex-bomb, the phenomenal actress, the doped-up starlet, the voluptuous siren, the difficult star, the Joyce-reading child-woman. “Shall I be her?” she whispers to Colin, revealing self-awareness about the many sides of her public and private persona. But it’s the private one that creates the drama. As production on the film grinds on, Marilyn’s inability to understand her character drives Olivier to distraction and an increasingly erratic Monroe into the understanding arms of Colin. “It’s agony,” he says, “because he's a great actor who wants to be a film star, and you're a film star who wants to be a great actress. This film won't help either of you.”

Filled with crisp dialogue and much more than mere biopic, My Week With Marilyn is a riveting account about the perils of stardom, vanity and insecurity nestled against the upright pillars of loyalty, fidelity and love’s first kiss. Befitting its central character, this eye-catching mix is as intoxicating as it is exhilarating. Redmayne, Branagh, Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper and Zoe Wannamaker are terrific in support, but all eyes are on Williams. Or Monroe. Maybe both. Because “when Marilyn gets it right, no one looks at anyone else”.

moviereview colin fraser film movie australia review critic flicks


Michelle Williams
Eddie Redmayne
Kenneth Branagh
Judi Dench

Simon Curtis

Adrian Hodges


M / 99 minutes

February 16, 2012
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