Sunday, December 4, 2011

Special Cinema Spotlight: My Week with Marilyn

I had a great Holiday movie to spotlight for this weekend but decided to put  it on hold in order to give you a special cinema spotlight on "My Week with Marilyn".

I have to admit I was very wary going into this film because I am  not a huge fan of Michelle Williams for no big reason in particular, but also because this is Marilyn Monroe that we are talking about here. Her shoes are some rare and complicated ones to fill---not an easy task to take on.

"My Week with Marilyn" Trailer

The film is based on a book written by Colin Clark by the same name, "My Week with Marilyn". Colin Clark became an assistant on the set of "The Prince and the Showgirl" in summer 1956. According to Colin, he spent a week with Marilyn while her new husband, Arthur Miller went back to the States. It is during that time with Colin that she is able to escape somewhat the pressures of work.

"The Prince and the Showgirl" Trailer (1957)

I have to be honest--this film transported me back to 1956 and I enjoyed every minute of that ride! Everything from the costumes of the period to the hair to the mannerisms-was so authentic I truly felt as if I was peaking into a bit of someones life.

I know a great deal about Marilyn, having fallen for her eternal beauty and charm at the age of fifteen. Since then I have read many books based her life or the authors experience of knowing her. I have also gazed upon many of her photos and find great joy in how much her life was captured by the lens of the camera.

This film reminded me that Marilyn really was a phenomenal actress. Michelle Williams really captured the essence of who Marilyn was without over acting or trying to hard. Something that I realized while watching her in this film was that Marilyn Monroe was the best part Norma Jean Baker has ever played.

You see, Marilyn Monroe was also a character. Norma Jean was the girl who lived inside this great, big, and powerful image that is known today as Marilyn Monroe. Norma Jean played her so well that she found great difficulty with shedding that "dumb blonde" image and showing people that there was so much more about her than beauty, boobs, and booty.

I do believe that Marilyn's final completed film (and Clark Gable's ), called "The Misfits" (1961), was where she was able to play a role that had great depth.  I can only image all of the even greater work she would have created if she has lived past the age of thirty-six.

Michelle Williams as "Marilyn Monroe"

Michelle Williams did an outstanding job portraying Marilyn as well as the rest of the cast. I got a sense that everyone on board with this film gave it their all and wanted to truly recreated a time gone by about a woman the world still adores. I would highly recommend viewing this film and I look forward to rewatching it when it comes out on DVD because yes it was THAT good!

I think even Marilyn would have been impressed with William's performance! If you would like to read a fabulous interview with Michelle William's and how she prepared for her role as Marilyn-check it out here.

Marilyn on the set of "The Seven Year Itch" (1955).
This is one of my favorite photos of her-she was a living doll.

In my personal and humble opinion, I think the world is fascinated with Marilyn Monroe because she was both a girl and a women, she was both innocent yet experienced, and she never truly showed the world exactly who she was, Norma Jean Baker.

I hope wherever you are Ms. Monroe, that you have found the sense of peace, the home, and the love you always yearned for. You will never ever be forgotten.



  1. This movie will be on screen in march only in France :/
    That's soooo sad!
    I am not a huge fan of this actress too!
    I am watching all Marylin's movie these last day!

  2. What movies have you watched so far? I plan ot watch a few more that I havent seen. Def go see it in March-if not when the dvd comes out-its soo worth it! xox

  3. I finally made myself see the film last weekend and was pleasantly surprised. I know too much about her though so i was probably a pain in the tush to my poor Mom, who watched with me :) I had read Colin's first book, "The Prince, The Showgirl and Me" years ago, which made me womder why he suddenly remembered, "Oh yes, by the way, when Miller was gone, I was MM's best friend and almost lover!". The truth of his role during this time is more interesting. From the forward of "The Prince, The Showgirl and Me- Six Months On The Set With Marilyn And Olivier":

    "This book is really all about Marilyn. For five months... she dominated our [the cast and crew of TP&TS] every waking thought. I was the least important oerson in the whole studio, but i was in a wonderful position from which to observe".

    He made no claims of any sort of intimacy with Marilyn in his first book, so when you see "My Week With Marilyn", you do have to take it with a grain of salt. But the film was absolutely beautiful. Costumes, sets, lighting... so many things looked familiar because they were - photos of actors portraying Olivier, Marilyn, Vivien Leigh and Arthur Miller we are shown being taken were actually taken in the same spot that the real/original ones were, which is pretty neat. Filming at Pinewood was really special too, i imagine really so for the cast, that is of course the same studio where The Prince And The Showgirl was filmed.

    Many have tried to play Marilyn and failed. Michelle was probably the best portrayal i have seen. Did i gasp & think i was actually seeing Marilyn? No. But she was an icon, and to even take on that role is so brave!!

    Most of MM's later movies, especially the comedies, are the most fun. I recommend "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", she's so cute & funny. "How To Marry A Millionaire" is a fan fave, light comedy and a fun part for her. I think she felt like she did her best work in "Bus Stop", which is first MM movie i ever saw. "Niagra" is a good little noir, with something happening in it that usually doesn't (i'd love to tell but i hate spoilers!!).

    The Prince and the Showgirl is a bit of a snoozefest, but a must to see if you haven't before seeing "My Week With" - Marilyn shines and Larry doesn't and you will find yourself utterly shocked that she had (or was!) any trouble at all on set! I was transported to the late 1950's too, and would have liked to stay!! :) *Thank you for posting the Vogue photos!! I love them, except her black roots! :)What was that about?

  4. Its so nice to share with another MM fan like you! It is a great film and I totally agree you have to take it with a grain of salt like most of these "tell all" books and such LOL Thank you for your post! Youre so sweet!!!! xox


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