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Review

‘My Week With Marilyn’ captivates, impresses audience

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February 3, 2012

Over winter break, I decided to venture out to the movie theatre with my mom to see the somewhat unknown movie, “My Week With Marilyn.” The movie stars the lovely Michelle Williams, and the handsome man who played Gilderoy Lockhart in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” Kenneth Branagh. It details all of the behind the scene moments of the making of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” starring Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier.

The movie is based off of the book, “The Prince, the Showgirl, and Me.” It was written in 1995 by the man who was there during filming, in 1956. His name was Colin Clark. Clark was only 23 at the time of filming, and the third assistant director. He came from a prominent British family. His parents were friends with Sir Laurence and his wife was the “Gone with the Wind” star, Vivien Leigh.

Clark was able to help shuffle Monroe to the set and was to be at her beck and call. In 1956, Monroe was newly married to playwright Arthur Miller. She arrived in England and was an instant star among the people. Monroe brought her acting coach, Paula Strasberg, along for support, as Sir Laurence was rather cold towards her and her lack of acting skills.

Monroe was continuously late to the set, making the cast and crew wait for hours for her arrival. Upon arriving, she would be in her dressing room for a few more hours preparing with her acting coach. Later in the film, Miller leaves the country to go back to the states and Clark takes it upon himself to show Monroe the British life. For a full week they are together. They go to the English countryside, take walks, and even go skinny dipping. The movie also shows the dark side of Monroe’s personal life. It was not all glitter and glam. She experiences a miscarriage while married to Miller. She also locks herself in her room, takes too many pills and passes out in another point in the film. In comes superhero Colin. He climbs through her window and comforts her as they fall asleep side by side. Personally, if I was under the amount of pressure that she was, I would probably lock myself in my bedroom too. She was lucky to know somebody like Colin.

I was told recently that the test of a good movie is if the audience is aware that they are in a theatre or not. This movie was so captivating. I was drawn into the story immediately. It made me feel sorry for Monroe because Sir Laurence and the rest of the British cast and crew did not give her a chance to shine. They needed to treat her with respect and be patient with her. True, she shouldn’t have kept them waiting forever, but perhaps things would have been different if they had given her a chance.

All in all, I have nothing bad to say about this film. It was captivating and wonderful. Williams did an excellent job at portraying this beautiful woman and I highly recommend this movie to those who wish to take a peek into history.

Samantha Harkness is a journalism major at UW-River Falls. She loves reading, writing and watching movies.