My Week with Marilyn (Curtis, 2011)
Marilyn Monroe sneaks Colin Clark into her car and what follows is a day of autumn sunlight, authentic charisma, and small revelation. He is left believing he’s dug beneath a surface no one else has, and she continues her bubbly and woefully oblivious approach towards relationships. As expected, Monroe’s story is told tragically, but not in the way I expected. There’s barely any emphasis on drugs and alcohol, and instead takes the approach of the dangers of a fragile and ignorant state of mind. Michelle Williams is perfect in this role. She does more than an impression but instead becomes her own Marilyn Monroe and it didn’t take long before I felt like I was actually watching none other than.
But the film falls short in too many areas. The first 30 minutes set a false tone, coming across as a whimsical, fast-paced boyhood fantasy. I guess one could say it matches the ‘aw shucks’ persona of Colin Clark before he get as deeply involved as he does, but it almost caused me to tune out early. Luckily, we see a more poetic and gritty tone throughout much of the rest. Additionally, Curtis did a poor job overseeing the editing of the film – both in the style (the aforementioned whimsical beginning is weak in part because of this), and in leaving too much in. Certain scenes and even characters feel extremely mis-placed and unnecessary. Though a lot of it does stand out, more so than I usually am able to accept in a film, Williams performance does such a job of overshadowing it that ultimately I had to be forgiving. 8/10