Sunday, April 01, 2012

'My Week with Marilyn'


Last night after supper, I stepped into the 21st century, renting a movie at a Redbox for the first time, and then slipped much more comfortably back into the mid-20th century while watching "My Week with Marilyn" with my wife.

I'd wanted to see this at the theater but never got around to it. Anymore, I'm getting tired of audiences that don't know how to behave and disappointing problems during digital projection. It isn't the same, watching a movie at home, but I'm learning to live with it.

"My Week with Marilyn" was good. Mighty good. Reviews were mixed about Michelle Williams playing Marilyn, but I thought she did fine. She's come a long way, baby, since "Dawson's Creek."

Is she Marilyn Monroe? No. But even Marilyn wasn't really Marilyn Monroe. In so many ways, she was still Norma Jean.

And that's what this film is about, really. Well, that and seeing Marilyn through the star-struck eyes of a 20-something film student named Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne). He was a real guy and he did indeed work on the production that became "The Prince and the Showgirl." The film is based on his diaries. How much of it is real I can't say. What I can say is it's a darn good flick.

But something you need to know is that Kenneth Branagh steals the show as Sir Laurence Olivier. He's good. Darn good. "Probably should have gotten the Academy Award" good.

(Quick aside: I once called Blockbuster Video in Fountain City to see if they had a copy of "Wuthering Heights." I needed it to complement a book report. The clerk responded, "We have the Laurence Oliver version." I hung up, nearly threw up, and never went back to Blockbuster.)

Julia Ormond is given too little screen time as Vivien Leigh. Dame Judi Dench is awesome as always as Dame Sybil Thorndike.

It's good, not great, but a fine show for a Saturday night.

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