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My Week With Marilyn | The Clapper Bored

My Week With Marilyn

The victory of The King’s Speech at last years Oscars has left classical British cinema in a somewhat dubious position. Almost everyone agrees that The King’s Speech didn’t really deserve to scoop Best Film (or Best Director for that matter) and the ‘prestige’ British film has been left in a limbo where studios are keen to make them but worried about the inevitable backlash that will follow. I would imagine that Simon Curtis is pleased that he got My Week With Marilyn greenlighted before the lock.

My Week With Marilyn is a film that’s chock full of problems. First and foremost is a story that’s, at best, hard to swallow and, at worst, complete bullshit. Michelle Williams is sufficiently luminous (as she always is) in the desperately unrewarding Monroe role but why precisely Eddie Redmayne’s 3rd Assistant Director falls so desperately in love with her remains something of a mystery. Yes, we get it, she’s bloody gorgeous but she’s also intensely irritating and charmless- not unlike Redmayne’s character himself.

But the central relationship doesn’t take up as much screen time as the title might suggest. The real star of this show is Kenneth Branagh (when is he not the star of the show?) as Larry Olivier. He’s so good in the role that you’ll wish that the film focused more on his reaction to Marilyn’s ‘acting’ than the soppy half-romance that’s going on in the, literal, background. There are other good performances knocking about and, somewhat strangely, even the Americans are played by Brits (Toby Jones, Dominic Cooper, Zoe Wannamaker and Dougray Scott all turning out decent Yanks). But this sort of film is no longer flavor of the month and lacking the class of the Firth/Rush relationship doesn’t really have the legs to support its, somewhat superficial, conceit.

Not unpleasant but too long and dull with an uninteresting central romance. Branagh deserves an Oscar nom for his Olivier though.

my-week-with-marilyn-poster
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Title: My Week With Marilyn
Director: Simon Curtis
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Watson, Michelle Williams.
Certificate: 15 (not sure why)
Runtime: 120 odd minutes...

2 Comments

  1. Kenneth Branagh. Enough said.

  2. Nick says:

    I couldn’t agree more.