Magical is the best word to describe this film.  I often try to stay away from worn out cliches, but in this case I have to make an exception.  Watching My Week with Marilyn felt like being transported right on the set with her during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl.  This is fully thanks to the superb acting by the entire cast ranging from tried and true Judi Dench to Michelle Williams as the star herself. 

I imagine it is no easy task having to play such an icon, but you wouldn’t know that when watching the flawless performance of Williams.  I’m glad the movie is low on the melodrama, but rather focuses on a mix of realisitic dialouge and more importantly, real emotion.  By this I mean there are not any over-the-top moments, there are no villains for the sake of having a villain, everything feels like it is grounded in reality.

This is potentially hazardous in an era when every movie seem too overblown or artistic for their own good.  However, I think that’s what makes it so good.  It’s not even a glorification of the star.  We get to see the dark side, the drugs, alcohol, and vulnerability of Monroe.  I especially enjoyed when she talked about the real her and how nobody wants to see anything other than Marilyn Monroe as a star.

By the end of the movie I felt sorry for her and the people around her.  There’s a sense of desperation about her character that makes you question why nobody tried to help.  But then, that’s not all there is to the movie, as the title suggests there is someone who spends a week with her.  This lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) guy is Colin Clark, who leaves his parents and becomes part of the film crew on The Prince and the Showgirl.  He ends up, you guessed it, spending a week with the girl herself.

Clark acts as a vehicle for the viewer to go along and see a glimpse into the life of Monroe.  He’s not a bad character, and without his real life counterpart there wouldn’t be this film, but the wonder that is Monroe greatly overshadows him, and I’m alright with that.

Also worth noting, there’s a wizard, well witch, well a particularly smart witch that makes a guest appearance as part of the crew as a costume designer.

All in all, this is a fantastic film.  Williams will take you away from reality, which is what movies are meant to do, and often fail.  These characters aren’t fake, and its clear both the writers, director, and actors really understood their roles and cared about the characters they were portraying and supporting.

My Week With Marilyn is a rare movie in today’s era, and it is one that reminds us of the charm and magic movies once and still can have.

Advertisements