Not a new movie, but I was fortunate enough to be given the DVD of My Week With Marilyn by my publisher, Jennifer McDonald, to watch at home recently. It had a particular interest for me, as I knew the author of the book, Colin Clark, on which the story was based.
Colin had just come down from Oxford and, looking for a job, found one as a third assistant production hand on the Laurence Olivier movie The Prince and the Showgirl. The story of a week he spent off the set, told to mind the temperamental Marilyn and falling in love with one of the world’s biggest stars, makes an enchanting film. Michelle Williams, Oscar nominee, is wonderfully luminous as Marilyn; Eddie Redmayne suitably naïve as the lucky lad who shares a romantic interlude with her. The cast is greatly enriched by Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Julia Ormond and Zoe Wanamaker.
“A shimmering, memorable, magnificent movie,” said Urban Cinefile’s Andrew Urban, who gave the film 10 out of 10. But for me that fine actor Kenneth Branagh was not at his best, overplaying the role of a dour Sir Laurence Olivier. The tabloids at the time reported Olivier as angry about the delaying tactics of Marilyn’s drama coach and other cohorts holding up his film, which was true, but that seems no reason to play the role of the very British Larry Olivier himself directing the show like a rather petulant Hungarian. For me 9 out of 10. But my grand-daughter Emily, who saw it with me, was completely enchanted.
If you’d like to know more about My Week With Marilyn, Click here.