Saturday, 26 November 2011

My Weekend With Marilyn

I can’t pretend to be a big Marilyn Monroe fan – I have seen a couple of her films and I understand how big an icon she was and still is but I know very little about her as a person. As the trailer for the My Weekend With Marilyn was appealing and I am still putting off going to see Breaking Dawn (for piss-taking purposes) going to see this film was an easy choice.

PLOT:  Colin (Eddie Redmayne) is an aspiring film-maker who leaves home to work on The Prince and The Showgirl, a film directed and staring Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams).  As tempers flare on set Colin and Marilyn strike up a friendship in which Colin falls hard for the actress.  END PLOT

My Weekend With Marilyn is not a lifetime biopic of the actress and focuses solely on the relatively short time it took to film The Prince and The Showgirl.  I think I would have preferred a full scale biographical insight into the life of Marilyn Monroe but that isn’t what this film was about.  My Weekend With Marilyn is essentially the coming of age story of Colin Clark and as the film is based off his memoirs it is to be expected.

The feel of the film is light hearted and although there are hints of Marilyn's reliance on pills and alcohol it never strays into a dark territory.  The pacing flows fairly well and even though the film clocks in at just over 90mins it doesn’t feel rushed. 

Eddie Redmayne turns out to be a very likeable actor and he played the role of a young and naive Colin very well although it wasn’t a role that required much more than a nice smile and a healthy dosage of British charm.  I will say that the fact that he has been cast as Marius in Les Miserables has piqued my interest as Les Miserables is my pick for the film of 2012. 

Michelle Williams is one of those actresses who are purely meh with a little bit of blah sprinkled on top - I don’t dislike her I nothing her.  Williams managed to capture the public face of Marilyn Monroe very well and was able to switch to quieter moments of vulnerability with ease.  I was surprised by how good she was although I have not been inspired to look through her back catalogue. 

Kenneth Branagh is likely to get a couple of supporting actor nominations and the rest of the supporting cast which includes Dame Judy Dench, Dominic Cooper and Emma Watson are all fine.

My Weekend With Marilyn isn’t a deep insight into the psyche of Marilyn Monroe and the performance of Williams is perhaps too understated to garner some nominations let alone a win but it is very much worth a look.  It gets an 8/10.  It wont trouble the big dramas of 2011 but for a quirky light hearted 90mins it isn’t a chore at all.


  1. 90mins isn't verylong is it? I always feel a bit aggreived at a film that is that length ( outside of animation ). I think a paying audience should get 100mins at least. But I suppose if it is only a slice of Monroe's life then it may have been difficult to expand it out.
    I watched Miss Potter recently and it was only 90mins as well and yet it encompassed more of her adult life than this did. I think it may be time for a full length bio-pic of Marilyn though. I believe there is a Grace Kelly film in the pipeline which will be a full life bio-pic. I read in the paper just last night many actresses are wearing Kelly like hair dos in trying to land the role!

  2. Did you learn anything about her? I feel a movie about someone's life is good if you've learned something about them. If not, then it's just the same old stuff.

  3. Wow really short and not too deep, I'm kind of let down by that, was hoping for something more in depth.

  4. Brent: I get what you mean about the running time but for this film clocking in at 90mins made it stronger. If it ran much longer they would have resorted to filler scenes. I hadn't heard of the Grace Kelly biopic - I will be keeping an eye out for it

    flimflamsam: I learnt quite a bit about Marilyn but I knew next to nothing about her going into the film. All information was essentially new to me - if you are a long standing Monroe fan I doubt you will learn anything new about her life.

    Daniel: short and not to deep but still worth a look. It's a film with Marilyn Monroe in it but it isn't a film about Marilyn Monroe - she is a key player but it is the Colin Clark story.

    If a proper Marilyn Monroe biopic is announced I wont be too unhappy :-)