Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Week With Marilyn 2011

My Week With Marilyn

I finally just saw My Week With Marilyn and I have to say I enjoyed it thoroughly. Based on two books by Colin Clark they recount his experience as a 23 year old working on the set of the film The Prince and the Showgirl in London England in 1956. The first one was a diary of his time on the set (The Prince, the Showgirl and Me) and the second (My Week With Marilyn) an account of 9 days in the middle of this job when he got a little closer to Marilyn than most people did. Whether you believe his account or not it makes for a captivating film.

Michelle Williams as Marilyn

Michelle Williams is luminous as Marilyn Monroe. I can't imagine any other actress more accurately capturing the essence of the ups and downs that were Marilyn. The still pictures don't do her acting justice.

Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier

Kenneth Branagh is also particularly brilliant in the role of Sir Laurence Olivier. If you look at trailers of the real Olivier in the film The Price and the Showgirl, you realize what a great job he did. He was born to play Olivier. There is a great story about the young Kenneth Branagh writing to Sir Laurence Olivier to ask for some acting advice. The link to the interview is here. It explains the reverence Branagh has always had for SLO.

Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark

Eddie Redmayne was the perfect choice for the star struck young Colin Clark, using his family connections to Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh to break into the film industry. Memory being what it is, Colin Clark had obviously embellished his own importance in this story, however that is what Hollywood does anyway, so just sit back and enjoy this version of what happened on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl.

Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike

I know it is hard to find an English film these days without Judi Dench starring, but in this case it made sense to cast her as Dame Sybil Thorndike. Dench had actually met Dame Sybil many decades ago and has very fond memories of her. This made her peculiarly apropos to have her play the friendly yet feisty elderly actress. I enjoyed her immensely.

There are a plethora of other British actors sprinkled through the film. Michael Kitchen, Emma Watson, Jim Carter, Zoe Wannamaker, Domenic Cooper...the list goes on.

I liked the film and I hope you will too. It is a little peek behind the curtain of film making and it is beautifully filmed in many of the original locations. And to conclude, here is a peek at the trailer of the original film, The Prince and the Showgirl. Very 1950s!


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