Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Justin Timberlake’s Secret Ingredients

Justin Timberlake’s Secret Ingredients

Music: Outside of rap, there aren’t a lot of artists with the XY chromosomes, staying power and tunes to be anointed as the definitive male pop star of 2014... By Matt Stieb 7/30/2014
“Most Naked Woman” Set to Shimmy at San Antonio Burlesque Festival

“Most Naked Woman” Set to Shimmy at San Antonio Burlesque Festival

Food & Drink: The answer came unanimously without prompting or hesitation, as if sent straight from the sexually liberated goddess of... By Melanie Robinson 7/30/2014
The Mayoral Horserace Returns with a Bang

The Mayoral Horserace Returns with a Bang

News: With former District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor selected as interim mayor, potential candidates are weighing whether to run for San Antonio’s highest... By Mark Reagan 7/30/2014
Temps wanted for new City Council spots

Temps wanted for new City Council spots

News: San Antonio’s city council will have two new members soon. The departure of District 7 Councilman Cris Medina to Fort Meade... By Mark Reagan 7/30/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Film Review

Michelle Williams leaves everyone else, even the film itself, in her dust as Marilyn Monroe

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


Michelle Williams deserves her vehicle; she's earned the right to put herself in the sweaty hands of cigar-chomping moguls with the power to bully esteemed actors and directors into hopping aboard the Oscar Express, wobbly wheels though it may be resting on. As one of our best working actresses, she has every right to anchor that vehicle with a spot-on depiction of a real-life legend and all the red carpets, festival swooning, and acceptance speeches that come with it.

As Marilyn Monroe in BBC veteran director Simon Curtis' adaptation of author Colin Clark's autobiographical remembrance of the time he talked his way onto the set of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) and ended up assisting Sir Laurence Olivier on set and aiding the newly Mrs. Monroe everywhere, Williams is luminous. Her Marilyn is an untouchable goddess who keeps no less than Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) under her thumb, Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) at her mercy, and every man who lays eyes on her at full attention. She totes around Method coach Paula Strasberg (Zoë Wanamaker) to act as her emotional spokesperson and throws her head back flirtatiously for the Queen's wait staff as if she were Elizabeth I tossing bread crumbs at the starving, appreciative common folk. When she takes too many sleeping pills or pulls the emergency brake on the film's production, she makes herself small, cowering like a wounded puppy so that anyone who dares tell her to get it together comes off like a monster. She's Marilyn Monroe, for Chrissakes, and she is also Michelle Williams. All hail the Queen.
Now, about My Week With Marilyn, the unwashed serf upon which Williams stands: What a mess. As it's based on the memoirs of an unexpectedly important glorified P.A., Marilyn is scant on inside-baseball verisimilitude, opting instead for a boxed-in broad comedy in which everyone spits dialogue like they're on a timer, and 90 percent of the action takes place inside a dressing room or within an interior set, and back and forth and back and forth. The only plot to speak of concerns Monroe's inability to perform the most basic functions of an actress (memorizing lines, showing up on time, smiling for the fans) and Olivier's inability to tell her what to do.

Always in the background stands Clark (Eddie Redmayne), an ambitious if dense lackey attempting to balance a budding romance with the wardrobe girl (Emma Watson) with Monroe's increasingly romantic demands, Olivier's shouting, and a subplot involving Olivier's then-wife, Vivien Leigh (Julia Ormond), which is thrown in needlessly.

With its limited locations, inert plotting and over-the-top supporting performances, My Week with Marilyn feels small and, frankly, dumb. Watson is thrown away almost immediately, Ormond is confined to jealous asides, and Redmayne never registers as the perspective point that Monroe treasured him for. And while I'm positive that Olivier was the sort prone to spouting Shakespeare to convey emotions, it feels like a stale wink coming from Branagh at this point.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus