'My Week with Marilyn' (DVD/Blu-ray Combo)
(Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Judi Dench, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray+DVD / R / 2012 / The Weinstein Company)
Overview: During Marilyn Monroe’s (Oscar® Nominee Michelle Williams) first trip to London to film “The Prince and the Showgirl,” with Sir Laurence Olivier (Oscar® Nominee Kenneth Branagh), she befriends Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), an ambitious 23 year-old production assistant on the set. As their relationship progresses Colin’s focus shifts from making his way in the film business to rescuing her from the pressures of celebrity life.
Blu-ray/DVD Verdict: Marilyn Monroe was, and still is a bit of a mystery. In her heyday, she was considered by most to be just a glamorized sexpot used as eye candy in most of her films. A look back generally shows she had significant acting talent, especially in the right roles. As this film adaptation of Colin Clark's memoir indicates, Marilyn also comes with a lot of baggage. Director Simon Curtis personalizes Monroe's struggles with confidence, older men and pills.
The film is set in 1956 England where Laurence Olivier (a wonderful Kenneth Branaugh) is starring and directing 'The Prince and the Showgirl.' Monroe (Michelle Williams), then one of the most recognizable people on the planet, finally arrives and drives everyone on the set crazy. And we're wondering if she doesn't have a bit of crazy in her as well. Some of these early scenes seem to drag a bit. OK, we get it. But I think, it does put Monroe in bad light and I suspect that is the idea.
Then Michelle Williams really goes to work. Her ultimate relationship with Clark (Eddie Redmayne) brings out the real Monroe. She was neglected if not abused as a child. She didn't know her father, but all of her squires have been older men. Now she meets a 23 year old ("almost 24" Clark insists) gofer on a movie set. Monroe is 30 at the time. After a tender kiss, she says, "I've never kissed anyone younger than me."
Williams once again proves her acting chops in a stellar, award-worthy performance. Her Monroe is vulnerable, needy and wants to truly be loved. She wants a normal life and wants to have children. These are not the same desires of her new husband, writer Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) or any of her other previous mates. As Clark had been warned by her former beau and agent Milton Greene (Dominic Cooper), Monroe is a heartbreaker.
But with Williams's performance, damn if I wasn't falling in love at the same time Clark was. I just don't know if it was with Marilyn Monroe or Michelle Williams! Especially as there are real clips of the woman herself interspersed here. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2:35.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.