DRAMA; 1hr 39min
STARRING: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Dougray Scott
Role model: Williams and Scott
Marilyn Monroe (Williams) was 30 and peerlessly luminescent when she flew to England to make The Prince and the Showgirl with the esteemed Sir Laurence Olivier (Branagh). Newly married to playwright Arthur Miller (Scott), adored by pretty much everyone and as fluttery as a butterfly in a jar, My Week with Marilyn ’s MM is a roiling boil of insecurities into the bargain, and a skittish nightmare to work with.
Third assistant director Colin Clark (Redmayne), who would write a memoir about his time with Marilyn, on which the movie is based, observes the hullabaloo with the jaunty curiosity of a novice. Nothing gets past Colin: Marilyn’s pilled-out lows, the cracks in her marriage, her enabling dependence on overprotective acting coach Paula Strasberg (Zoë Wanamaker) and a torn Olivier’s besotted, frustrated rage as the production slips further behind schedule. Colin is besotted, as well — how could he not be? Williams is a divine bombshell, her Marilyn gossamer made seductive flesh. From the minute she purrs into song, you absolutely buy her as both the world’s brightest star and a panic-riddled supernova on a collision course to burnout.