Wednesday, 30 November 2011

259: Review: My Week With Marilyn

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

My Week With Marilyn poster

My Week With Marilyn
30th November 2011. Location: Cinema

Things to bear in mind:

• Not normally my thing, and I've had my fingers burned with 'film' this year already.

• I have very little background/baggage with this. I know who the principal characters are, but that's about it.

• Judi Dench is in this, and plays Judi Dench. As usual.

• Dominic Cooper, fresh from his role as Howard Stark in Captain America is in this, and plays Howard Stark again.

• If the playwright Arthur Miller actually went around as if he was acting his life quite badly, then Dougray Scott's on great form.

That being said:

Film of the year.

I'm entirely serious. My Week With Marilyn is funny, poignant, and, most importantly, completely engaging from the first frame to the last. I identified with, and cared for, all the characters. Maybe I was just in the right receptive mood, but as a 'film', I can't recommend this highly enough.

Not having any great exposure to the actual Marilyn Monroe, I'd say that Michelle Williams does an outstanding job of her portrayal. Fragile without being brittle, highly-strung without being demanding, completely fucked up without being unlikeable. What's more, for the first forty-five minutes, this isn't 'the Marilyn Monroe Show'. Her character's introduced gently, and not before we've had time to acclimatise to the other leads. Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of biographer Colin Clark is heavy on the naivety, but I'm assuming that's intended. And it still makes for an excellent penultimate scene between the two.

As a side note, I'll just say that Kenneth Brannagh as Olivier is absolutely fantastic, displaying the same characteristics as Marilyn, but which manifest themselves in different ways. With the possible snags of the cast members I mentioned in the preamble, this is superbly acted all round (and Dame Judi does come off as incredibly likeable, she's just "Judi Dench" now).

On top of the acting, we've got a beautiful camerawork, locations, score and pacing. This really is the most exquisite film I've seen in a long time. It also helps that running alongside the faltering love-story, this is a film about making films. Talk of red-lights, table-readings and rushes geek me right out.

If you think this might be remotely your thing, it's well worth the £8 to see it in the cinema; the setting's perfectly suited to the content.


Movie of the year? No.
Film of the year? Without a doubt, yes.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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