Friday, January 6, 2012

Awards Season Movie Marathon: My Week With Marilyn

The Golden Globes are around the corner. Before the annual fete, I like to see most if not all the films and performances in contention to see if I agree or (more likely) disagree with the Hollywood Foreign Press. I don't take awards shows too seriously. Obviously, art is subjective and most of the voters vote for their friends or for whichever film has the loudest buzz i.e. the most marketing dollars. However seeing all the films is a fun challenge and I learn something from every film I see good or bad. Henceforth, my movie marathon continues. Holla! Interesting, quirky, thought-provoking films make me happy.  Just today I saw, My Week With Marilyn. This film is nominated for three Golden Globes including Best Picture, Comedy or Musical. Michelle Williams is nominated for Best Actress Comedy or Musical for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe and Kenneth Branagh is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role as Sir Laurence Oliver.

The film centers on Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), a young man working on set of Marilyn's film with Sir Laurence Oliver,  the Prince and the Showgirl.  Michelle Williams is practically perfect as the erratically charming Marilyn Monroe. Things are not going well for the bombshell. Marilyn and Oliver are at odds, she lacks confidence in her acting, her marriage is falling apart and she's hopped up on booze and pills to cope.  In the midst of the madness, Marilyn takes a shine to young Colin and proceeds to lean on him for support. Theirs is a short, strange, but complex relationship that allows us to glimpse the weight and the joy that comes with being a international sex symbol. I've always been a fan of Marilyn Monroe's films especially Gentleman Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot. It was fun to see that in this true story, she was as wild, vulnerable and beautifully flawed as I always imagined she'd be. The narrative was simple, emotional and moved well, pausing for small meaningful moments along the way. It was beautifully directed by Simon Curtis and scripted by Adrian Hodges (book by Colin Clark). Kenneth Branagh was brilliant as the high-minded Oliver and Eddie Redmayne also performed well as the sweet, naive Colin. Highly recommended. 

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