The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie pays tribute to Monroe: beautiful, extremely apathetic

By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

It looks like they took modern cinematography techniques and mixed them with film techniques from the late ’50s without taking into account anything that came between.My Week with Marilyn is based on the diary of writer and filmmaker Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) during his first job as the third assistant director for the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl. Clark is a kid in a candy store, working with both his hero, director/star Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), and legendary American sex symbol Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams).

Clark develops an intimate relationship with Monroe, whose only interest on the film set seems to be acting out the childhood she didn’t really have (Monroe spent her early years as a ward of the state, parading through foster homes until her first marriage at age 16).

Through the course of the film, Clark slowly discovers exactly how difficult Monroe is to work with. She doesn’t memorize her lines, she shows up for shooting at noon, and any time she’s told how inconsiderate these things are, she cocoons until her obsessive acting coach, Paula Strasberg (Zoë Wanamaker), convinces her once more she can do no wrong.

The primary issue with a tribute piece to Monroe is the question, “Who could play Marilyn Monroe?” And that’s no issue at all. Williams becomes Monroe. All the wiggles, all the looks, all the pills and all the unprofessionalism that hug Monroe’s legacy are brought to life in My Week with Marilyn, and no script or trick of camera could have made it possible without Williams’ stunning performance.

The level of stars Monroe reduces to secondary characters, both in real life and the film, is staggering. Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), her third husband, wrote Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. He’s a secondary character. The Right Honorable Lord Olivier is known as one of the best actors of his century and certainly one of the most decorated. He’s a secondary character. Sybil Thorndike (Judi Dench) is one of the most recognized stage actresses of the early 1900s. She’s a secondary character. Emma Watson plays a wardrobe girl, for Pete’s sake.

Audiences will come away from this story wondering if it is true, and that’s a valid question. The story is very much through Clark’s eyes, and he was smitten with Monroe. Who wouldn’t want to write that the love was requited? Who wouldn’t want to write they’d seen Monroe bare all?

It’s not much else, but My Week with Marilyn is a loving tribute that, for once, doesn’t damn the object of its affection. But if you’re curious about Monroe, it doesn’t provide any more information than her Wikipedia entry.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian